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GOP Blasts Suggestion Of Passing Health Care Bill Without Traditional Vote

GOP Blasts Suggestion Of Passing Health Care Bill Without Traditional Vote
3/16/2010 1:52 PM ET

Republicans have vehemently spoken-out against a possible legislative process that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is considering using to push the Senate health care reform bill through the House without a traditional vote.

Under the process suggested by Pelosi, the House could approve the Senate version of the bill while, at the same time, voting for a package of changes. As a result, the Senate version of the bill would be "deemed" passed by the House, though Democrats in the House opposed to some of the things in the bill would not be directly shown in favor of passage.

"Nobody wanted to vote for the Senate bill," Pelosi said when explaining what House Democrats may do. "It's more insider and process-oriented than most people want to know, but I like it because people don't have to vote on the Senate bill."

Of course, this type of approach didn't sit well with Republicans, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., saying, "Anyone who endorses this strategy will be forever remembered for trying to claim they didn't vote for something they did."

"It will go down as one of the most extraordinary legislative sleights of hand in history," McConnell added.

House Republican Leader John Boehner's, R-Ohio, office issued a statement arguing that it is "bad enough to overturn the will of the people by passing a government takeover of health care that is overwhelmingly rejected by Americans. But the so-called 'Slaughter Solution' - passing the massive Senate bill without an up or down vote - takes shame to a whole new level."

"At the end of the day, a vote for the 'Slaughter Solution' is all at once a vote for a government takeover of health care and for the Washington games that Americans are so tired of," the statement added.

House Republican Whip Eric Cantor, R-Virg., said, "The bottom line is that if Speaker Pelosi believed there was ample support for the Senate legislation, then she would bring it to the floor of the House for a 'yea' or 'nay' vote as stated by Article I, Section VII of the Constitution."

"Instead," Cantor continued, "Americans are watching what happens when it becomes necessary to push political kickbacks and bend the rules so perversely to give members of the majority party who wouldn't otherwise support this legislation political cover."

In response, Boehner announced Tuesday that House Republicans intend to force a vote on a resolution requiring an actual up-or-down House vote on the Senate health care bill.

Boehner said, "The 'Slaughter Solution' is the ultimate in Washington power grabs, a legislative ploy that lets Democrats defy the will of the American people while attempting to eliminate any trace of actually doing so."

"It shows you just how controversial this government takeover of health care has become that it takes a controversial maneuver just to vote on it," he added. "By supporting this resolution, Democrats can demonstrate that they will not try to hide from their constituents."

by RTT Staff Writer

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