Thursday, March 11, 2010

Democrats May Use Slaughter Rule to Pass Pro-Abortion Health Care Without Vote

As Democratic leaders in Congress plot their next move on how to get the pro-abortion Senate health care bill through the House, a new strategy has developed apart from the reconciliation plan that has pro-life advocates concerned they could pass the bill without taking a vote on it.

House Rules Chairwoman Louise Slaughter has developed an idea she has not yet presented to Speaker Nancy Pelosi but is one that received considerable attention from political observers yesterday.

When the House considers any legislation on the floor, it first adopts a Rule for debate that sets the parameters for debate, amendments and other procedures.

The problem Democrats have in the House is that pro-life Democrats are joining with Republicans to hold up the Senate bill because it contains massive abortion funding and other pro-abortion problems.

To get around that, Slaughter has mentioned proposing a Rule that would "deem" the Senate bill having already passed the House without an actual vote by members of the House.

The Rule would apply to the reconciliation package that makes the changes Democrats need to secure enough votes.

Under the Slaughter Rule, a majority would be needed to approve it and the idea behind adopting it is to give Democrats in tough re-election campaigns the ability to say they didn't vote for what is an unpopular pro-abortion health care bill. Instead, they can say they merely voted on a procedural rule.