March 16th, 2010
05:16 PM ET
8 years ago

What's an 'up or down' vote? It depends ...

Robert Gibbs faced questions Tuesday about a new strategy to pass health care in the House.

Robert Gibbs faced questions Tuesday about a new strategy to pass health care in the House.

Washington (CNN) - The Obama administration seems to be redefining what an "up or down" vote on health care means.

White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs dodged repeated questions Tuesday about the possibility of a "deem and pass" rule vote being considered by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California.

Gibbs reverted to talking points when asked about the procedure, which would sidestep a direct vote on the Senate bill. "I don't think anybody is going to misinterpret the outcome on where people are on health care," he offered.

Another White House aide said that "no decision has been made in the House," but added, "either way, there's going to be an up or down vote. That's the whole point."

At a health care event in Strongsville, Ohio, on Monday, President Obama told the crowd, "I believe Congress owes the American people a final up or down vote."

When Gibbs was pressed at his daily briefing to explain, he said the administration is being clear with the public on what it wants Congress to do and called questions a "legislative process game."

Republicans accuse Democrats of trying to "pull the wool over the eyes of the American public." Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said "it is time for rank-and-file Democrats to pull the fire alarm and save the American people from this latest scheme."

The Democrats are avoiding a direct vote on a Senate bill that includes deals that Obama said he wants out and that many House Democrats object to but are having to swallow to pass reform as a whole.

The President had no public events on his schedule Tuesday, but top aides said he spent a big part of his day trying to woo House Democrats who are undecided on the vote.

Filed under: Health care • President Obama • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. MatthewDetroit

    The Dems are LIARS and Nancy Pelosi is the biggest liar of all.

    The American People DO NOT WANT the healthcare bill in its current form.
    The American People DO NOT WANT the additional spending and cuts to Medicare.
    The American People DO NOT WANT the tricks, lies, stealing, cheating, arm twisting, Democrats to FORCE the bill through congress.

    The Democrats DO NOT WANT a vote. They are tricking America and digging through the DISHONESTY play book to find a loop hole and lying chieating way to pass a bad bill.


    March 16, 2010 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  2. Kat

    This clown!!! This administration will do what ever it takes to ram this Bill down the throats of tthe working people. What a disaster for our country. VOTE THEM ALL OUT!!

    March 16, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  3. Four and The Door

    What's funny is that now that they know it will be DOWN, they are not so eager for an Up or Down vote.

    Face it, this is the wrong bill for 2010 American health care. Start over, Get it right. Don't do something just to do something. Americans deserve better than that.

    March 16, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  4. MatthewDetroit

    Barack Obama is a liar and a cheat.

    This is the worst president of all time.

    He has lowered the standards to be president and does not fit the office. He is not a leader he is just a pretender. He lies his way through every conversation and does not tell the truth. He is a socialist with an ideology that pushes into communism.

    Look the words up in the dictionary and you will see a picture of the benelovent dictator Barack Hussein Obama....
    Leader of the American Socialist Party and soon to be the Premer of the Soviet Union West....

    March 16, 2010 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  5. MatthewDetroit


    You clearly DO NOT UNDERSTAND the US Constitution nor how goverment works...

    The American People DID NOT ELECT a dictator that would do as he wanted.
    They elected a man who would FOLLOW their wishes and direction.
    Many people were FOOLED by Barack back in November of 2008.
    They are now no longer being foolish.

    The American People DO NOT WANT THE CURRENT HEALTH BILL and that is a Fact.

    Barack your president is a dictator and DOES NOT CARE what the American people think.

    He is an arrogan elitist much the same as Pelosi; your other hero.

    March 16, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  6. Fitz in Texas

    Is this guy still around? And to think we, the hard working taxpayer, pays this guys salary. What a waste of money. This administration sure knows how to pi** money away.

    March 16, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  7. MatthewDetroit

    SNIFFIT.....Where do you get your lies.

    The BILL PRESENTLY inFact cuts 500 Billion from Medicare.

    It is on MSNBC, CNN, FOX, everywhere every single day.

    What ROCK did you climb under my man.
    I am sure you are just misinformed and I can not really blame you for that.

    Many people have been fooled, you are just another person that the machine has taken advantage of.

    March 16, 2010 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  8. Tim

    Is the Kool Aid becoming bitter to any of you leftists?

    March 16, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |

    yes there will be cuts to medicare. they will cut the money to the doctors and then the doctors will quit seeing medicare patients. so then where would medicare patients go see a doctor.

    March 16, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  10. Tim

    What's funny is that Obama makes bold face lies, just like he did during the campaign, and the press refuses to call him on it. Why is it ok for the president of the United States to continuously lie and no one seems to care?

    Maybe Clinton has set the standard.

    March 16, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  11. Liberalism is a Mental Disorder

    The Most Transparent Administration? hahahahaha right!

    The Most Corrupt? Yes! The most inept? YES! The one that has told the most lies in history – A RESOUNDING YES!

    March 16, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  12. Bob in Pa.

    Theres going to be an up or down vote as soon as Nancy is done bribeing and treatening enough congressmen to pass it.

    Wrong Bill, Wrong Time, Wrong Leaders !

    March 16, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  13. Hammerer

    The Dems are calling for an all out war. They seem to want the people to take to the streets and have a civil war. They are pushing the limits.
    Most of the congressmen have made plans for "civil unrest" and looks like they are going to make it happen.

    March 16, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  14. Jesus(the Zombie version)

    If we don't pass this bil two things will happen:

    1. Insurance companies will continue to raise premiums and don't ever have to worry about HCR because no one will ever bring it up again.

    2. Millions will be without insurance and those who do will have to pay much more than they would have in tax increases, BUT ME MYSELF AND I stand to make thousands of dollars from my Insurance stocks I own.

    The bill fails, dozens make millions, millions lose another 5% of their salary to the premium hikes and we never have to hear about HCR ever again, because no one will ever bring it up.


    March 16, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  15. CONNIE

    american people want healthcare reform, they want the insurance companies to quit charging so much, they want the drug companies to quit charging so much for medicine. the American people do not want a bill pass on the sake of getting a health care bill passed, it will destroy this country.

    March 16, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  16. MatthewDetroit

    You can take the words of ANY pole out there.

    The American people do not like this bill.
    They were lied to in the very beginning and told it would cut costs.
    The fact is that it is IMPOSSIBLE to add 30 MILLION people to the insurance covereage and NOT have prices go up....IMPOSSIBLE.

    30 million people. It can NOT go down in cost.
    Besides all the other lies.
    Besides the coverage for illegal aliens.
    Besides the fact that medical care will be rationed.
    Besides the fact that it will stunt the growth in developing new drugs, new devices, new procedures, and new doctors.
    Taxes will go up.
    The Goverment does absolutely NOTHING well.
    I am NOT happy with them spending any more money or getting any bigger.
    I recommend that anyone that wants that kind of life should MOVE to Canada or Europe and become a socialist. We are NOT socialist in this least not yet.

    March 16, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  17. Jesus(the Zombie version)

    Ha, I can't wait till my Insurance comapnies make billions next year in premium hikes when this bill fails.

    And what's great is since HCR is so toxic no member of Congress will ever bring it up again.

    Americans lose, I win.

    Love it!

    March 16, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  18. Jesus(the Zombie version)

    Please DON't pass this bill.

    If it FAILS, which it may with the support of ALL my REAL Americans here, then Aetna can impose the 12% premium hike next year that they have planned to cover the costs of advertising and lobbyists, and NO ONE can do anything about it.

    Also, I make a couple of thousand dollars when their stocks sky rocket.

    I love Americans, they sacrifice themselves so me and a dozen or so other people can get rich.

    Truly you sacrifice.

    March 16, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  19. Andy

    Obama is an egotistical power driven dictator wanna be and wants to make a name for himself at any cost to the American people.He is a phony and the absolute worst excuse I have seen for a president in my 60 years.This has nothing to do with this disaster of a HC bill and all to do with Obama/Pelosi's ego and power.At least Carter was an honorable man that cared about people(could not run the country).Obama is a disgrace and looked on as such by our enemies.

    March 16, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  20. Nathaniel

    I think the time for talking is past. Use every legal means to pass the bill. Anyone who wants to cry, let them cry. I honestly have had enough of this useless back and forth that creates no concensus! Some will complain but it is to everyones over benefit – It acctually is as simple as that.

    March 16, 2010 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  21. MJ

    Do you really believe, the woman from Ohio that Obama touted, will wake up the day after (month,year,decade) this is passed and be able to say her Insurance problems are over? Wake up People! This is not REFORM. You will not have better insurance. There are NO provisions for purchasing across State lines, there IS a multitude of back-room "deals", you WILL pay for abortions. What IS certain is that TAXES will go up immediately, Medicare will be cut, we will, as a Country, be so far in debt that we may never get out of it. But wait, in 3-5 years the Government will take over our Health Care. Why not just give us the same Insurance that the Congress/Government has? We are already paying for it, therefore, we should be entitled to the same. Oh, that's right, they EXCLUDED themselves from this bill.

    March 16, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  22. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    President Obama is the best President in the history of this country because for the first time in history he has uncovered to every American how Government is suppose to work. Read the Constiution and you will re-think what we call a democracy vs. socialism before throwing out words we don't understand.

    March 16, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  23. Marty, FL

    Correction: most recent polls (aside from right-outlier Rasmussen) show support for health care about even within the allotted margins.

    Pass health care now for our country...God bless America!

    March 16, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  24. D.

    This is a tax bill and shift economic power to the government and keep trial lawyers on the side of democrats in their campaign money contributions. This is all but a health related bill.
    Do you really care if a private company takes your money or the government takes it– just that the government taking money costs more. I doubt people believe this bill is about health– it is about government power and ego. (We know very well whose ego is bigger).

    March 16, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  25. Paul H

    This is even worse than reconciliation. It bypasses our whole system of governing in this country. It has no consideration for how we the people feel or think on this issue.
    When government decides they are going to impose their will over the will of the people then it's time for everyone to go. If we allow this to happen, then we have opened the door to Tyranny: the word "tyrant" carries connotations of a harsh and cruel ruler who places his or her own interests or the interests of a small oligarchy over the best interests of the general population, which the tyrant governs or controls.
    Just look at the actions of your so called Representatives people.

    March 16, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
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