March 20, 2010

"Can the House vote to amend something that isn't the law, as the Senate bill will not be law before the president's signature?"

"The Rules Committee meeting turned into mass confusion":
Democratic Rep. Sander Levin [said] "We're going to be amending the law"...

[Democratic Rep. Henry] Waxman added, "We change current law, and the current law will be the Senate bill once it's voted on in the House."

But it won't be law until the president signs it.
This is different from the problem discussed in the Michael McConnell post. McConnell's argument was based on the necessity of seeing the 2 bills as one. This new problem arises when you assume there are 2 bills. If a separate bill is just a package of amendments, and if it must be aimed at "current law," then you can't merge the vote, because even if the Senate bill is "deemed" passed, putting it first in time before the passing of the package of amendments, there's no procedural trickery that can get the President's signature into that time sequence. Even if you can fiddle with time somewhat, you can't do that.

UPDATE: "Democratic lawmakers and an aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., say they've dropped plans for an indirect vote that would have relied on a legislative maneuver to give their OK to the Senate's version of health care legislation." Good. So, now, once it is undeniable that the House is passing the Senate bill, will the votes be there?

72 comments:

reader_iam said...

C-SPAN announcing breaking news ...
the House will NOT use "Deem and pass" but instead will take three votes tomorrow, including one on the actual Senate bill.

oldirishpig said...

I would think that if they can get something passed, Obama will be found waiting outside the door so he can rush in and sign it before anyone can change their mind, lol.

Balfegor said...

If a separate bill is just a package of amendments, and if it must be aimed at "current law," then you can't merge the vote, because even if the Senate bill is "deemed" passed, putting it first in time before the passing of the package of amendments, there's no procedural trickery that can get the President's signature into that time sequence. Even if you can fiddle with time somewhat, you can't do that.

I don't think that's particularly troubling, though -- there's roughly no chance the Senate is going to pass the amendments unchanged, so before the amendments go to the President for signature, they will have to be voted on by the House again, I think. The amendments vote is more or less a nullity -- it's just for show. The only vote that really matters is the vote on the Senate Bill as is.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

Kwajalein is in a one-day-back timezone hole, or at least used to be, to coordinate it with the rest of the Pacific Missle Range.

Obama could stop there on his way home and sign the bill.

Ann Althouse said...

"I don't think that's particularly troubling, though -- there's roughly no chance the Senate is going to pass the amendments unchanged, so before the amendments go to the President for signature, they will have to be voted on by the House again..."

But the Senate bill will have been passed, and it will go to the President for signature. That may be all they ever do pass, in which case the amendments are not worth a damn. The problem raised in the post is really just another way of saying that the House needs to face up to the reality that it will be passing the Senate bill, unamended, and that will be signed by the President.

ark said...

@Ann Althouse: I don't see the problem you're trying to raise. Can't the House take their proposals, merge them into the existing bill, and pass that in its entirety? In addition to passing the Senate bill, I mean. Two separate votes.

Balfegor said...

The problem raised in the post is really just another way of saying that the House needs to face up to the reality that it will be passing the Senate bill, unamended, and that will be signed by the President.

Ah. I thought you were criticising the amendment bill for amending a law that is not, as of the time the amendment bill is passed, actually a law yet.

But if the above is the criticism then, yes, I agree completely. The "fix" bill is a sham, and the negotiations Pelosi has apparently been going through about Medicare cuts and abortion and special goodies for this or that state nothing more than a ruse to delude gullible house members into voting for the Senate bill.

ark said...

@Balfegor: There is another possibility. Perhaps Pelosi is not trying to delude gullible Representatives, so much as trying to provide them with ammunition they can use to delude gullible voters.

Synova said...

Expecting to understand what the experts in Washington are going is sort of like expecting to understand climate scientists.

Are you a politician? No?

Well then, shut up and trust them. They know better than you do how the system works and being obstructionist just for the sake of it means they can't solve the problems with affording healthcare.

Which will be solved by doing something, if only we let them do something.

A lot of things are that way. Just do something and it all works out. Why be such a fuss button?

Gahrie said...

Rep. Hastings (D), of the House rules committee:

I wish that I had been there when Thomas Edison made the remark that I think applies here: "There ain't no rules around here, we're trying to accomplish something." And therefore, when the deal goes down, all this talk about rules, we make them up as we go along.

jaed said...

One thing I haven't seen mentioned (so maybe it's not a problem), but perhaps Althouse can comment on in her professional capacity:

If the House passes the Senate bill, don't they have a Section 7 problem? The Senate and House bills were separate, and IIRC the Senate version started out as a road construction bill or some such and was gutted-and-replaced-in-whole via amendment. So the Senate bill didn't start in the House.

Yet it includes a revenue-raising provision, the tax or fine or whatever it is on people who don't purchase a Healthy-Choices-Commissioner-approved medical insurance package.

"All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives..." So isn't this particular bill's origination in the Senate a problem?

(wv: quilit. This is a crazy quilt of constitutional problems!)

Maguro said...

Good. So, now, once it is undeniable that the House is passing the Senate bill, will the votes be there?

Well...I can't believe they would have dropped demon pass if they didn't think the votes were there for the Senate bill.

Apparently there will be a show vote on a package of amendments to the Senate bill before they vote for the Senate bill itself, which I guess is supposed to help them sleep at night or something.

edutcher said...

I keep going back to James Taranto's line, "Just imagine all the damage they could do if they knew what they were doing".

What's happening is damage enough. These people are trying to find a way to vote on this turkey without anyone physically voting on it. And all the Demos will have to go home with that vote. Pelosi Galore wants them to think they'll rise next Sunday, but they might want to reflect on the fate of the 13th man the Friday before.

reader_iam said...

C-SPAN announcing breaking news ...
the House will NOT use "Deem and pass" but instead will take three votes tomorrow, including one on the actual Senate bill.


Somebody blinked. Maybe the Honorables have gotten it through their thick, left-wing heads that Demon Pass really would be the last straw for the people of this country.

Lem said...

Obama is on.. again on C-SPAN

Balfegor said...

If the House passes the Senate bill, don't they have a Section 7 problem? The Senate and House bills were separate, and IIRC the Senate version started out as a road construction bill or some such and was gutted-and-replaced-in-whole via amendment. So the Senate bill didn't start in the House.

It's a bit weird, but I believe the "Senate Bill" we're talking about the House passing now is actually a bill originated in the House -- H.R. 3590 -- as altered by the Senate.

Paul Zrimsek said...

We've headed 'em off at the deem!

Peter V. Bella said...

They are passing a 3000 page bill no one has read, no one can comprehend, and no one will ever have the time to read and comprehend.

They are using procedures that no one understands. They are creating confusion, uncertainty, misunderstanding, and fear by doing the unknown in an unfathomable fashion.

Forget cruel faceless bureaucrats. We are saddled with inhumane brainless representatives.

Peter V. Bella said...

Hypothetically speaking, if this unknown monster ever hit the Supreme Court it would break their budget for a year. They would have to hire triple their staff just to wade through it.

David said...

"So, now, once it is undeniable that the House is passing the Senate bill, will the votes be there?"

Yes.

Obama has foolishly bet his entire Presidency on this issue. He's having to break important promises and act like an obfuscating hack to bribe and bully his way to passage of the bill.

The bill will pass. So too will Obama.

madawaskan said...

The only thing is they have a co-operative President.

Now that they have decided not to take the deem and pass route do they do this:

(from TNR) Crap I was looking for something else from TNR and they have this-

Breaking:

President Obama is about to address House Democrats in the auditorium of the Capitol visitors' center. Standing in front of the entrance, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer just made a few key announcements:

- He confirmed that the House would vote on the Senate bill and the reconciliation amendment separately.

- There will be two hours of debate on the reconciliation bill. A vote on the Senate bill will follow immediately after that.

- The Senate bill will go directly to the president for a signature, while the amendments go to the Senate.

- Perhaps most important, House leaders have seen a letter, signed by more than 50 Senate Democrats, saying they will vote for the reconciliation amendment.

Methinks said...

They will get the votes.

Nancy and Barry took pains to collect as much dirt on their members as they could and they are now holding it over their member rats to force them to vote.

It almost makes you feel sorry for the little rodents. They so wish Barry had tied his wagon to another, more popular, piece of legislation.

Old Dad said...

I'm certain that I don't understand the process, but here's the muddle as I see it.

The House Dems appear to have backed off Deem'n Pass. Why? Perhaps, they have the votes to pass the Senate bill, or, perhaps, members were caving right and left to rabid tea partiers like Meade. My guess is the latter. House Dems now realize that their constituents aren't idiots. A vote for Deem'n Pass is a vote for the Senate bill, and the Amendment package merely a very weak Hail Mary.

The Only chance to finish this hideous business before the Easter Break is to pass the Senate Bill on a straight up and down vote. It's a risky tactic. Now the whoring and bribery will be a little more apparent. Stupak's crowd have no cover what so ever. The Senate bill funds abortion. Everything the House Dems hated is still right there to hate.

No, Pelosi and her thugs will have to buy Dem quislings in broad daylight. There's only one reason to do that--they could no longer hide behind Deem'n Pass.

Obama is going to the Capitol this afternoon, not to take a victory lap. He's pressing his double down.

Grab some popcorn if you've got a strong stomach. Let's see how sausage gets made on the the Southside.

Methinks said...

The problem raised in the post is really just another way of saying that the House needs to face up to the reality that it will be passing the Senate bill, unamended, and that will be signed by the President.

Which makes this all the more obnoxious. Isn't the point of the amendment package to give the impression that Democrats aren't voting for the unpalatable Senate bill? This means they really believe voters are beyond stupid.

madawaskan said...

Back to the other point-

They have a co-operative President in an article from before they were going to take the deem and pass route TNR said that they could have Obama simply time the way in which he signed the bills.

From TNR:

When it comes to enacting laws and then later amending those laws, it doesn’t matter in what order Congress passes bills. All that matters is the order in which the president signs those bills into law. As long as the president signs the health care bill 30 seconds before he signs the reconciliation bill, the latter can amend or repeal any provisions in the former. So the House and Senate could, in theory, vote on a conference report amending the Senate health care bill before the House actually has to take the tougher vote to accept the Senate bill.

No matter whether the House votes on reconciliation or the Senate bill first, the Speaker can ensure that the health care bill is signed into law before reconciliation. (The dirty little secret of Congress is that even if the House votes to pass the Senate health care bill tomorrow, the Speaker has unilateral power to hold that bill at her desk until January 3 of next year before sending it to the President and starting the 10-day Constitutional veto clock.)


How Reconciliation Would Work

Methinks said...

Obama has foolishly bet his entire Presidency on this issue.

More foolishly, Americans elected him. Obama may pass, but he will live the good life floating above the unwashed masses. It is the masses who will be left to twist in his legacy.

Lem said...

Key House Democrat: "There Are No Rules Here ... We Make Them Up As We Go Along"

Synova said...

"- The Senate bill will go directly to the president for a signature, while the amendments go to the Senate."

Yeahbut...

Obama *promised* that the bills would be posted.

From the link from seeing a Baier in the Demon Pass...

"Mr. Baier again: So you'll go deem-and-pass and you don't know exactly what will be in the bill?

Mr. Obama's response: "By the time the vote has taken place, not only will I know what's in it, you'll know what's in it, because it's going to be posted and everybody's going to be able to evaluate it on the merits.
"

So... when is the vote and is it posted yet and is anyone who isn't a racist going to care that Obama lied again?

Lem said...

Obama.. "I know what is like to face a tough vote"

.. present.

Balfegor said...

So... when is the vote and is it posted yet and is anyone who isn't a racist going to care that Obama lied again?

I believe the bill is here. Don't be misled by the blather about reconciliation and amending the bill and all that. They may do it, they may not do it, but that's not what's happening tomorrow -- all that stuff needs to go to the Senate first, so there is ample opportunity to post it for public scorn. Tomorrow is about the Senate Bill, and we've had that since December.

NewHam said...

Rep. Hastings (D)"

Let's remember who we're talking about here:

Alcee Hastings is a fucking criminal, a former federal judge who was impeached for taking a bribe in exchange for a lenient sentence.

This is who is running your government - a bunch of fucking criminals.

Christy said...

All this means is that the Stupak gang can truthfully return to their constituents and say they voted to take abortion funding out of the Senate bill. Any opponent on the campaign trail will tie themselves up in language knots trying to explain the truth of the matter. Anything other than short declarative sentences don't work well on the campaign trail. I'm not hopeful.

WV: peritylr = disease of the gut only covered for congress critters who refused to talk to their voters. The CBO scored it as a budget neutral element because everyone knows those congressmen have no guts.

NewHam said...

"Somebody blinked. Maybe the Honorables have gotten it through their thick, left-wing heads that Demon Pass really would be the last straw for the people of this country."

Maybe they looked out the window and saw 30,000 patriotsready to storm the House of Representatives if they fucking try this shit.

In my heart, I hope that.

But in my head, I know that the only way Pelosi, Inc. would back down on Demon Pass is if they've somehow secured enough votes to pass this shit without having to use Demon Pass.

If that's true, so be it then.

Let's get to the voting, so we can start talking about running these motherfuckers out of town on a rail and impeaching the Goddamned rest of 'em.

SteveR said...

RH Hardin, Kwaj is now normal, just the other side of the Dateline.

The game was exposed, they couldn't avoid having to vote on the senate bill. I hope they feel "saving" the Obama legacy will be worth their seats, because whatever Health Care Reform comes about, won't be.

BTW, Cima Hospital in San Jose, Costa Rica is a very fine facilty. You'll need to start getting familar with your options.

Methinks said...

Do you really think people will accept that the gang of 12 voted to take abortion funding out?

That amendment won't survive, I think. The final legislation will contain abortion funding.

All their opponents have to say on the campaign trail is that the Democrat voted for a bill that funded abortion and it will be the incumbent Dems who have to explain exactly how they didn't and yet abortion is still publicly funded.

Balfegor said...

All their opponents have to say on the campaign trail is that the Democrat voted for a bill that funded abortion and it will be the incumbent Dems who have to explain exactly how they didn't and yet abortion is still publicly funded.

Abortions are not actually going to be funded for four years, as I understand it. They have nothing to worry about on that score, yet.

NewHam said...

"I hope they feel "saving" the Obama legacy will be worth their seats ...

That's the really funny part about this whole thing.

This vote won't save the Obama legacy - it will only hasten his demise.

This bill will shortly be undone by Republicans once they take over the House and Senate. They'll repeal it - and send it to the President - and he'll veto the repeal.

Once he does that, 2012 becomes a referendum on repeal of the health care takeover and Barack Obama becomes a one-term-Jimmy-Carter-has-been out on the hustings somewhere eating plastic chicken and building Emergency Rooms For Humanity.

The Health Care Takeover Act of 2010 will then be repealed as the first act of the next President of the United States on January 20, 2012.

Barack Obama's fate is sealed.

He's a loser.

And history will judge him so.

Lincolntf said...

So having already displayed their willingness to lie, abuse the Constitution and extort fellow politicians, the Dems now want us to forget they ever brought up "deem and pass". If there was ever any doubt, this episode proved that if they could completely remove or destroy the Constitution, they would do it in a heartbeat.
What a bunch of scumbags. And anyone who votes for any of them is either criminally stupid or pathologically wedded to Leftism. Horrid people, every last one of them.

Doug Wright-OldGrouchy said...

So, who're the rubes? What's the final ruling? Doubt if that's truly clear right now!

But, my guess is that the "rule" regarding reconciliation has yet to be written; almost like the record on our each individual lives!

NewHam said...

Another amazing data point:

There are 30,000 people on the Mall protesting and the major news networks are all running the same photo as their lead: A staged picture of Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi smiling.

Who runs the country?

They do.

Nothing we do is even covered - almost like it never happened.

Fred4Pres said...

Paul Ryan does a good job for Wisconsin.

Doug Wright-OldGrouchy said...

NH: Betcha they'll cover, if anything, the pitchfork!

Also, too darn bad there wasn't an Obamaian there with a gunbelt strapped on his, her, waist! That'd get some little coverage.

NewHam said...

Fred,

I have bad news for you, unfortunately. Paul Ryan would like to:

* Cut elder voters' Medicare
* Cut elder voters' Social Security.
* Doesn't want to eliminate earmarks or cut Congressman's pay.

Who said this: "Every American should have access to affordable health insurance ..."

No, that's not Barack Obama. Paul Ryan said that. Sounds like Paul "Hussein" Ryan to me.

Who wants State-based Health Insurance Exchanges? No, that's not Barack Obama's idea ... that's Paul Ryan's roadmap to a public option. Sound familiar?

The problem with Paul Ryan is that he believes that the Federal Government can solve a lot of problems.

And that's his problem - his belief in Big Government.

You cannot run a candidacy on cutting voters' health care and cutting their retirement security and think you are going to get elected.

Voters aren't morons.

Lem said...

So my understanding (I'm thoroughly confused) is that the senate cant vote on anything new because the republicans can filibuster.

So the democrats are stuck with what the senate passed already. House democrats cant "fix" it because it would mean it would have to go back to the senate vote = filibuster.

Is that about right?

Balfegor said...

Who wants State-based Health Insurance Exchanges?

I don't have a problem with health insurance exchanges -- the problem is with the current proposals, where the health insurance exchanges are there just to sell three flavours of the exact same coverage plan. The whole point of developing an accessible market for health insurance plans is lost if you set the minimum coverage bar high (eliminating castastrophic coverage plans), and make it impossible for a plan to profitably offer broader coverage than the minimum, thanks to guaranteed issue. There's no benefit to a consumer oriented market in which the only choice a consumer is allowed is whether his health insurance is Brand A or Brand B, and they are in all other respects indistinguishable.

NewHam said...

"...the Senate cant vote on anything new because the Republicans can filibuster."

That's not exactly right ... but it is close enough.

The House doesn't want this bill to have to go back to the Senate for a second vote - because it probably could not survive a filibuster.

But to extend the tale out further ... the Democrats could most certainly prevent a Senate filibuster - by changing Senate rules. Only 51 votes are required to change Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster.

Changing Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster is known as the "nuclear option" because it effectively eliminates any method the minority might use to extend debate times (and thereby grind the Senate work to a halt by extending debate for long periods of time).

The Democrats are so scared of eliminating the filibuster because they're going to need it shortly after we fire their fucking asses and begin sending out the subpoenas and getting people Mirandized and under oath and going to fucking jail for the corruption used to pass this Health Care abortion.

They know they're about to be in the minority ... so they want to keep the filibuster viable as a threat against Republicans.

But that's their choice. They could eliminate the filibuster if the truly wanted to.

Calypso Facto said...

@ NH: You cannot run a candidacy on cutting voters' health care and cutting their retirement security and think you are going to get elected.

Paul Ryan is ALREADY elected. And will be re-elected because he doesn't stick his head in the sand regarding the coming fiscal implosion of the Federal government. There are enough Wisconsonites adult enough to face the problems to return him.

Anyone under 50 who thinks that Social Security and Medicare will provide them with retirement security hasn't been paying attention.

wv: pressued. Like the House health care bill. Pre-sued by 38 states.

NewHam said...

"... the problem is with the current proposals, where the health insurance exchanges are there just to sell three flavours of the exact same coverage plan."

Once you create a health insurance exchange, you are creating the method by which a public option is imposed on private companies.

No Republican should be for this; and certainly no conservative.

Those Republicans who do support this are outing themselves as RINOs.

And that is what Paul Ryan is.

Paul Ryan wants to craft bipartisan legislation to solve America's problems.

In other words: He's a fucking Democrat.

I'm looking for a politician wants to dismantle the Federal Government brick by fucking brick and shut the entire works down save our national defense and transportation infrastructure.

Paul Hussein Ryan is not the droid your looking for.

Chip Ahoy said...

I guess I'll have to give up the "they're not listening" meme. At least a little bit. That's gon'na be hard because I was getting really fond of that.

NewHam said...

"Anyone under 50 who thinks that Social Security and Medicare will provide them with retirement security hasn't been paying attention."

No one under 50 votes (in significant enough numbers). Or are you not paying attention?

George W. Bush tried to cut Social Security ... what was the outcome of that?

Did you pay attention?

Tell me, what was the outcome of that attempt (if you know).

Balfegor said...

Once you create a health insurance exchange, you are creating the method by which a public option is imposed on private companies.

How do you figure? In theory, it should just be a market-facilitation mechanism, like securities exchanges. I don't see the necessary causal link to imposing a public option -- unless you're analogizing a public option to, say, GAAP accounting.

Calypso Facto said...

Good luck with THAT candidacy, Hammer! In the mean time (and in the real world) I'll take my level headed, fiscally responsible Republican until there's a better option.

And NH, you've been fired up about the Washington trip all week. Couldn't make it? Maybe you said already and I missed it?

wv: smshos. Shoes so small there's not even room for an "e".

NewHam said...

Paul Ryan is ALREADY elected. And will be re-elected because he doesn't stick his head in the sand regarding the coming fiscal implosion of the Federal government.

Paul Ryan will stay in Wisconsin because he wants to cut the paltry benefits owed to Americans who fought in three wars to secure our freedom.

What's Paul Ryan's plan to eleminate the federal Department of Education?

What's Paul Ryan's plan to set a cap on the pay of federal employees at 95% of the median income earned by private employees?

What's Paul Ryan's plan to outlaw public sector unions and cut public sector pensions?

You can't tell me what his plan for that is because he has no plan to cut union pensions. He has no plan to limit government pay. He has no plan to cut Congressional salaries. He has no plan to freeze federal hiring. He has no plan to stop shipping federal tax dollars to the states.

He's a fucking Democrat, dude.

He'll stay in Wisconsin and do as little damage as possible.

If he shows up in Iowa, I'll be there to trash his ass.

traditionalguy said...

The overall DemonRat strategy is simple...Pass a bill that destroys the existing private market products and mandates super coverages that no one can afford. Then wait 2 years and create the single payer as the last plan standing in the created crisis. That has been clear since last July.

NewHam said...

"How do you figure? In theory, [an insurance exchange] should just be a market-facilitation mechanism, like securities exchanges."

Yea, lots of things sound good in theory. Fact is we need no "market facilitation" regarding insurance. We already have a market facilitation. It's called the free market, dude.

In fact, it could be a lot freer by eliminating the restriction on selling insurance across state lines.

But the Democrats have already laid out their plan to piecemeal create a public option on the sly and eventually eliminate the insurance companies and start death panels up.

Step one is to create an Insurance Exchange that mandates coverages.

Step two is to fix prices.

Step Three: There is no step three because once you fix prices and mandate coverages you've created government health care.

Step 4: Death Panels

Now, either you are too blind to be able to look up the road a piece, or you're on their side.

Which is it?

garage mahal said...

I just think it's great that Althouse, after at least a 8 yr slumber, is suddenly so fascinated with processes in the House and Senate. She never had any interest in how Republicans did business. It's cute.

Kind of Hopey Changey. Meade is even out in D.C. Yes We Can!

NewHam said...

What's great is how you've been reduced to petty bitchiness, Garage.

What a fucking pussy.

eve said...

Garage: Perhaps you can circle back to that CBO estimate in 2001 that said the Bush tax cuts would result in a trillion dollar deficit. The old post a lie and run is very tiresome.

Maguro said...

I just think it's great that Althouse, after at least a 8 yr slumber, is suddenly so fascinated with processes in the House and Senate.

You can thank the Democrats for getting everyone interested in Congressional parliamentary procedures. If they'd been willing to vote straight up on the Senate bill, the way they're supposed to, we never would have been discussing the rules in the first place.

NewHam said...

"- Perhaps most important, House leaders have seen a letter, signed by more than 50 Senate Democrats, saying they will vote for the reconciliation amendment."

No, what is most important is that House leaders have not seen a letter, signed by more than 60 Senators, saying that the reconciliation amendment won't be filibustered. Because it will.

The Senate is never going to allow the reconciliation bill to be voted upon because that would be against Senate rules.

Period.

NewHam said...

"And NH, you've been fired up about the Washington trip all week. Couldn't make it?"

Here's what it looks like when thousands upon thousands of your citizen brethren stand ready to rush the floor of the House of Representatives.

Suddenly, Nancy "Nazi" Pelosi backs down on her attempted coup d' etat.

Coincidence?

I don't think so.

Methinks said...

Abortions are not actually going to be funded for four years, as I understand it. They have nothing to worry about on that score, yet.

I don't understand why you think that's going to be relevant in the 2010 election. What am I missing?

Kagro X said...

Yes, the House can pass amendments to a bill that has not become law.

The underlying bill becomes law when it's signed by the President, and the same goes for the bill containing the amendments.

So until the bill containing the amendments becomes law, it's not amending anything. That's why it presents no paradox.

If you think you can't amend a law that doesn't exist, AND you think that law doesn't exist because it hasn't been signed by the President, then you can't possibly think the amending bill exists if it hasn't been signed, either.

That's where this falls apart.

See also: enrollment corrections, the very purpose of which is to change the text of bills that have passed both houses but not yet been signed by the President. There's a whole category of legislative vehicles that do nothing but amend bills that aren't law yet.

Balfegor said...

I don't understand why you think that's going to be relevant in the 2010 election. What am I missing?

The premise, as I understood it, was that anti-abortion Democrats voting for the Senate Bill would be undone, because even as they claimed they voted against state subsidies for abortion, the state would actually be subsidising abortions! Egad! But that won't actually be true until 2014, so in 2010, they can still pretend their vote against funding of abortions actually meant something. I mean, who's going to check?

NewHam said...

"nothing about an insurance exchange requires that it mandate coverage"

Nothing prevents that either.

We don't need an "exchange."

We already have an Exchange. It's called the free market (which I agree isn't free enough so let's talk about ways to hobble the Federal Government - and by that I mean chop its feet off).

The only possible reason to create an insurance exchange is to fix prices and demand coverage. The Exchange is the Trojan Horse which hides the public option. Nobody is fooled by it.

Nobody.

Why would any Republican propose such a transparent Democrat plan? Unless they too are a Democrat in all but name.

Methinks said...

Balfegor,

I don't think it'll matter that abortions are not yet paid for. I'm assuming that either that amendment won't pass or won't pass the senate to amend this legislation before the 2010 election.

Politics is not my game, but I think all the opponent has to do is harp on the fact that the Democrat voted for a bill that was signed into law that funded abortions. In fact, all the ad will say is "Williams voted to fund abortion". When the funding starts I think is the irrelevant part. I mean, who's going to check :)

Bruce Hayden said...

In your first step, you're conflating two completely different things -- nothing about an insurance exchange requires that it mandate coverage, either in the sense that it require people to purchase coverage, or in the sense that it require insurers to cover everyone who asks. Those are separate problems.

Except that it appears that the legislation would mandate coverages and it is hard to compare apples to apples if different policies have different coverages.

NewHam said...

"In 2010, they can still pretend their vote against funding of abortions actually meant something. I mean, who's going to check?

The black baby killers in the United States Senate, led by the inestimible Ku Klux Klan Kleagle Robert Byrd (who in this video explains to Fox News what a "white n*gger" is) isn't going to stop until the full force and pocketbook of the Federal Government is paying to kill black babies.

The United States Senate is what the Ku Klux Klan became once it was forced underground.

It is fitting that on his deathbed Byrd will see his dream of official government killing of black babies come true.

And Barack Obama will go down in history as the first black President to fund the genocide of his own people.

He should be proud.

Deborah said...

This thing, if it is not repealed, will become just like the tax code - something even the Bureaucrats who administer it cannot comprehend or interpret. You will have to hire someone to file your insurance claims.

wv: bacitri. Bacteria that has been reformed through Obamacare.

Calypso Facto said...

Back from dinner and even though this thread may have already run its course...

NewHam: I wasn't busting your balls about DC, I just was actually curious why someone so fired up about this didn't go.

And here's a question for the lawyers: would simply opening health insurance up to interstate competition bring it within the federal government's purview because of the Commerce Clause? Maybe moot after tomorrow, I suppose...

Joe said...

Not only that, Deborah, but health care will be the victim of everlasting tinkering, in order to pay one group or another for votes. Just like the tax code.

In short, it will increase corruption, waste and fraud.

Joe said...

"opening health insurance up to interstate competition" may actually drive costs up by making it uncompetitive for smaller companies to survive. It's entirely possible we'd end up with a handful of mega-insurance companies who really are every bit as horrible as is now claimed.