Harry Reid is going to use a legislative trick to push through the public option without allowing any amendments and skipping a House/Senate conference committee.
Reid will use H.R. 1586—a bill passed by the House in March to impose a 90-percent tax on bonuses paid to employees of certain bailed-out financial institutions—as a “shell” for enacting the final version of the Senate’s health care bill, which Reid is responsible for crafting.
Under the procedure, the substance of House Resolution 1586 would be removed and replaced with the entire Senate health care package. The maneuver would initially require the support of 60 senators to vote for cloture on the motion to proceed to H.R. 1586 (i.e., end debate on the congressional procedure and move forward).
If Reid wins 60 votes, then debate begins on his health care package. Reid could then decide to block all amendments and attempt to get a vote on the entire package.
However, a senator could filibuster the final vote, requiring another 60-vote majority to move forward. But if Reid decides to allow any amendments, each amendment could be filibustered, requiring a 60-vote majority to move to a final vote on each of them. An amendment that has the support of more than 50 but less than 60 senators could end up stopping the bill if neither side backs down. But if Reid is able to structure the debate so that all 60 senators who caucus with the Democrats stick with the party on cloture votes, he can pass the bill and send it to back to the House–where it originated as an entirely different bill in substance.
It gets worse. Because if this works, the house can vote on the bill in total, no conference committee, because the House wont be voting on HR 3200
If the House were to then vote on the bill as passed by the Senate without amending it, it could be sent directly to the president for his signature without going through a House-Senate conference committee and another round of votes in each chamber.
Concerning that point, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told CNSNews.com on Tuesday that he would not rule in or rule out the possibility of the House holding a direct vote on the Senate health care bill without amending it if it came to the House in the form of H.R. 1586.
And guess who will be writing the bill, Harry Reid (or more likely his staff) they will consolidate the legislation approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. Reid will be able to insert textual language that was not approved by either committee.
“It is not definite, but at this point likely, since it is what is available on the calendar,” said the senior aide about Reid using H.R. 1586 as a vehicle for the final text of the Senate health care bill.
“If we received another revenue raising bill from the House, we could use that as well,” said the aide. “The underlying text of the bill only matters in the fact that it is a revenue raising bill so that it can serve as a vehicle for us to use. That is all it is. Once you substitute another bill into it that is what the legislation becomes.”
….“I mean, this is constitutional, you have to do it,” said the aide. “I mean the House has to start revenue raising measures. And when you have cases, which happen, it happens all the time where the Senate actually ends up going first on something, you have to use, you know, the House shell bill to do that. And it’s whatever is available on the calendar and in this case, it happens to be this bill [H.R. 1586].”
Darling said that when this technique is used, the bill does not have to go to conference if the House votes on the bill again without changing what the Senate has done.
The senior aide to Reid said “it is still early to say” if the final bill will go to conference, but said that the “next likely step” would in fact be a conference committee to iron out the difference between the House and Senate versions of health care reform.
Harry Reid and the Democratic Congress are not fans of democracy, they are looking to shove through a health care plan that American Voters do not want, that will tax them out of house and home, without allowing amendment by either house of congress. Ironically this legislative “bait and switch” for Obamacare acts like a virus that invades a cell and swaps out its DNA. And like a virus, this could have a deadly consequences for the sound health of many Americans.