What you ask is the Slaughter Rule? Simply stated, it is the US House of Representatives claiming that they passed a Senate bill without actually having done so. It is a method, contemplated by the Democrats, to pass the healthcare bill. It is unconstitutional and it is illegal.
Mark Levin has rightly been calling it an attack on the US Constitution. What does the Constitution say?
The Constitution of the United States:
Article I, Section 7 says “the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each House respectively.”
Minority Whip Eric Cantor, commenting on the Slaughter extra-constitutional action:
“I can infer that we’re going to see a rule that will deem the Senate bill as having passed, and at the same time not even have 72 hours to even look at what they are passing.”
Slaughter says House still has options on health care procedure despite parliamentarian's ruling
By: Susan Ferrechio
Chief Congressional Correspondent Washington Examiner
03/12/10 2:21 PM EST
House Democratic leaders say they are prepared to take up the Senate health care bill, even though it appears it cannot be passed simultaneously with a second bill that would make corrections to it.
I talked to Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., chairwoman of the House Rules Committee, the panel that will be responsible for formatting the way the House debates and votes on health care reform. Congress Daily reported last week the Slaughter was considering a rule that would deem the Senate bill passed only after the House approved the second bill that makes corrections to it. The Senate parliamentarian, however, ruled on Thursday that the Senate can only take up a reconciliation bill if the original Senate bill is first signed into law.
"We knew that," Slaughter told The Examiner. "That's not news to me. We always believed we had to have a signed bill before we reconcile." Slaughter would not say what strategy the House would employ to pass the bill. "We're looking at a lot of things," she said, adding that the Senate parliamentarian, "cannot rule on what we have to do over here."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., also acknowledged Friday that the House would have to pass the Senate's $1 trillion health care bill first before either chamber can take up the second bill, which would remove the Senate legislation's tax on expensive insurance policies and some special deals cut for certain senators.
Pelosi left up in the air whether the bill would have to be signed into law, though she acknowledged a ruling by the Senate parliamentarian Thursday that it would.
"We'll pass the Senate bill, once we pass it the president signs it, or doesn't," Pelosi said. "People would rather he wait until the Senate act..."
Pelosi said the ruling by the parliamentarian, provided at the request of Senate GOP leaders, "isn't going to make any difference except maybe the mood that people are in. The fact is, once that it is passed in the House it is going to be the law of the land."
House Democrats have been staunchly opposed to passing the Senate bill first because they worry the corrections bill will never pass in that chamber.
When asked about that opposition by a reporter at her news conference Friday, Pelosi said, "That's another thing," but she suggested her rank-and-file would ultimately vote for the bill because it would expand health care coverage to 31 million people.