This weekend will be pivotal for the Healthcare reform process. Congressional Democrats have devised a number of parliamentary procedures to try to ram through healthcare against the will of the American people, the Republican Party, and even a large portion of their own party. But despite the strong bipartisan disdain for the Senate’s version of reform, Democrats are expected to come dangerously close to passing the bill. Colorado Congresswoman Betsy Markey is expected to aid in the passage of the Senate bill; either directly or by support of the “Slaughter" rule.
The Slaughter rule has been talked about for the last couple of weeks, with conflicting reports of the exact process. The Slaughter rule, named after Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), is also known as the Deem and Pass rule. Under this congressional rule, the House could take a vote on a “fixed” version of the Senate bill; and upon adoption or passage the House Speaker could “Deem” the Senate bill to have passed the House. Essentially, by voting and passing the recommended “fixes” to the Senate version, Nancy Pelosi would deem the original text of the Senate bill to have been adopted. At this point the leadership in the Senate could pass the bill on to the President for passage into law; without any direct vote having been taken in the House on the actual bill itself.
If the above seems unconstitutional, that is because it should be. In ordinary circumstances, both houses of Congress are required to vote on the exact same language. However, the Deem and Pass procedure would be utilized to treat the original text of the Senate bill as passed in both houses, despite the fact that there would be no direct vote on it in the House. Pelosi has considered such a maneuver for political reasons too numerous to count. Above all else, Congressional Democrats hope such an indirect vote on the legislation would shield them from the wrath of voters at home, and the “fixes” proposed would be more palatable to moderates than the text that would be passed on to the president as a result.
Betsy Markey, of Colorado, has announced her intention to vote yes this weekend. Her vote was considered a moderate, and her recent declaration makes defeat of this healthcare reform even more difficult. She has stated that much of her decision was based off of the current preliminary numbers furnished by the Congressional Budget Office. “I have very closely taken a look at the compromise version, I read the (Congressional Budget Office) budget analysis today and I have decided that I am going to support this bill and vote for the bill," she said. But what she fails to understand is that if the Democrats decide to use to deem and pass rule, her vote for the passage of a “fixed” Senate bill will only result in the passage of the original Senate bill. Her vote will have done nothing other than allow the bad Senate version to proceed to the President’s desk for signature.
However, her argument is either entirely disingenuous or flatly ignorant. The Economic forecast provided by the CBO was preliminary, and admittedly full of guess work. The estimate was based off of text not yet published, and projections that take some extreme liberties in other economic influences. For example, the CBO numbers are based, in part, off of the assumption that employment will grow by nearly 6% every year after the signage of the bill. Also, much of the bill is full of tax increases, of which the CBO is not allowed to project the consequence on the economy as a whole. Furthermore, the estimations that the bill would be capable of reducing the deficit are based on exceptionally rosy scenarios and large tax increases with no ill effect on revenue. The tax increases would primarily hit businesses, and even middle class families. With the average American suddenly earning less, it is extremely unlikely the economy will continue to grow in such optimistic trends.
But in the end, even if the CBO’s numbers were right on (which they are not) it wouldn’t matter. Markey’s vote for the “fixes” to the Senate bill is, with use of the Slaughter rule, a vote for only the original text of the Senate Healthcare bill. The “fixes” to the bill would be debated in the Senate only after President Obama attaches his signature to the original Senate bill; making it the law of the land.
Markey needs to be told that Coloradoans will not tolerate her willingness to subject us to socialized medicine. We the people will not tolerate the threats to our liberty that are requisite with government takeover of healthcare. Moreover, we will not tolerate the circumvention of our democratic process in the House of Representatives. The slaughter of the Constitutional process is both sickening and reminiscent of the type of inadequate representation against which our Founders fought.
Send word to Betsy Markey. Send word to all of Congress. Our right as Americans, to freedom and limited government, will not be threatened because of a handful of elites in our nation’s capital.
Betsy Markey’s information is listed below (or you can click here)
Betsy Markey's info:
Washington, DC Office
1229 Longworth Building
Washington, DC 20515
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"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance." - Cicero, 55 BC