March 20th, 2010
02:42 PM ET
5 years ago

House Rules Committee meeting gets spirited

Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Florida, said during a particularly spirited portion of the meeting that opponents of health care don't know what Americans think.
Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Florida, said during a particularly spirited portion of the meeting that opponents of health care don't know what Americans think.

Washington (CNN) - The House Rules Committee began meeting Saturday to determine the official rules for the debate and vote on the health care overhaul, a day ahead of an expected House vote.

The committee is expected to determine whether the House will vote Sunday on a rule that would simply "deem" the Senate bill - a sweeping $875 billion reform plan that cleared the Senate in December - passed. The House then would proceed to a separate vote on another $65 billion in compromise changes to the measure.

"You all in the minority continue to say what the American people think," Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Florida, said during a particularly spirited portion of the meeting.

"You don't know what all of the American people think. And you certainly don't know what those in my constituency think."

If the Senate bill passes the House, Obama will sign it into law. If the package of changes is passed, it will be taken up by the Senate.

Freshmen House Republicans railed Saturday against the bill and the possible legislative mechanism Democrats may use to pass it.

"We're trying to vote on a bill without voting on a bill," Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer of Missouri said.

"While this might not be the first time 'deem and pass' has ever been is used in the House, I believe it is the first time that it's being used as an attempt to deceive the American people," said Rep. Lynn Jenkins of Kansas.


Filed under: Health care • House
soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. Rob M in NY

    She is absolutely right. The lying Repubs only speak on behalf of other lying Repubs. They do not speak on behalf of the majority of the American people.

    March 20, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The rich Republicans are only in touch with the rich Americans and there is nothing wrong with being rich but it's wrong to deny our children and families health care. Furthermore, the Republicans argue about the cost of health care reform but they will not tell you they won't stop insurance companies from their rate increases, not now or even if health care reform doesn't pass. Think about it.

    March 20, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. patricia c

    Rep Hastings is correct all the Republicans know is what tehir well funded lobbyists tell them. The only people out there that are screaming Kill The Bill earn over 200K and if any news organization has the balls they would find that out and expose them . The eevery day worker is at work trying hard to earn enough money to pay a bills ,lile Doctors,CC, Car notes,a Mortgage ,these are where the working class American Tax payer are. Those we see protesting are the CEO's or small Insurance Corporations and middle to upper management of Insurance Corporations and the Insurance Corporation Sales Force to protect their jobs at all cost. Little do these middle management and sales people know they will be on the cutting so to increase the profits of the Insurance Corporations they work for and protest for. The thought that comes to mind is Doth Thou Protest Too Much....

    March 20, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Will someone please tell me if the Republicans will stop the big insurance increases if the health care reform bill doesn't pass. No Republican has said they will do this, therefore they stand on no grounds to talk about costs of healthcare reform.

    March 20, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  5. Perusing-through

    GOOD POINT CONGRESSMAN ALCEE HASTING . . . Why do Republicans act like they have a lock on what the American people think and want?

    The American people voted the Republicans out of office in 2006 and 2008, and now the Democrats have the House, Senate, and the White House.

    Clearly, the American people are with President Obama, V.P. Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and most of the Democratic Party.

    March 20, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  6. David H.

    "...an attempt to deceive the American people," my b*tt.

    The GOP has become so rancorous that they can't see beyond anything that's not "make Obama look bad." That's not a strategy for governance, it's just electioneering. We need a viable "loyal opposition" party, but the Republicans are too busy trying to mollify their extremist base to serve that role.

    March 20, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  7. gcole

    When the reps use a process if is fine, the dems are always at fault. Maybe Obama should just add signing statements like Bush did. Maybe expand medicare with it:) I can here them screaming now.

    March 20, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  8. MsDp

    The saddest thing about this event, the people who are being deceived are the constitutents of the GOP. For 8 years all of Americans were their constitutents; therefore, we all were deceived. But I truly hope and pray that all of the American People will not allow themselves to be deceived again. Deem and pass has been used in the past by both (GOP & DEM). It is another method of law that is available for congressional use-it is A LEGAL PROCESS!

    March 20, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. Perusing-through

    GOOD POINT CONGRESSMAN ALCEE HASTINGS . . . Why do Republicans act like they have a lock on what the American people think and want?

    The American people voted the Republicans out of office in 2006 and 2008, and now the Democrats have the House, Senate, and the White House.

    Clearly, the American people are with President Obama, V.P. Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and most of the Democratic Party.

    March 20, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. Brian Nordin

    I'm so sick of the Republicans – they have one set of rules for themselves and another for everyone else. Their Senators and Reps have the best insurance on the planet and offer little for everyone else. I would like for one, just one of them to have offered to either buy a regular plan on the open market for their families like every small business person has to, or to allow all Americans to have the kind of health-care they have.

    Now, they also have one set of rules for passing laws for them and one for everyone else. They have, in the past, done both reconcilliation and "deem and pass" – both very recently. What hypocrites!

    Brian

    March 20, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  11. Frustrated....

    I am an American....and the only people representing me at this time are the moderates and Republicans who do oppose this specific bill.

    Yes...reform is needed....but this is not the reform wanted. This is a really bad mis-representation of "reform.

    Obviously....this guy is out of touch and just interested in pusing an agenda and bill that most American's don't think is right.

    Maybe he should do a bit more research before he opens his mouth.

    March 20, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  12. colin

    The hysteria over "deeming" is really silly and dim. Voting yes or no on deeming the Senate bill to have been already passed is (1) True! It has been passed! And (2) a procedurally allowed creation of political cover for members who don't want to be seen as voting for the bill, but who really do support it. Yes, that's ridiculous, but in Washington members do things like that all of the time just so they can say they didn't vote for something. I think that aspect is dim and silly. But the fact is that the House rules allow it, and the Republicans have done the same thing many, many times. And then back to number 1: The first healthcare bill was already passed by both the House and Senate, and now the House is voting a second time on that bill. So, logically, one can deem it true that the Senate bill has already passed. And, politically, voting that the Senate bill is passed is a yes vote for the bill. But all of this hysteria is academic at this point as it appears that the House has all the straight up yes votes on the Senate bill that they need. And, by the way, I just have to throw in how cynical I believe the GOP fueled "spending" hysteria is. That's the Party that launched two (at least) interminable wars (longest in US history at this point, maybe WWII was longer) that have cost the country several trillion dollars, and compounded that by 8 years of extremely lax regulation of industry which led to another draining of private and public wealth. And it has all created a perfect strorm of money gone missing from virtually ever sector of the economy, private and public (except Defense, really), such that it has made recreation of even sensible reulatory bodies (in FDA, EPA, etc.) a budgetary challenge, and put a freeze on private markets. It makes all of the sense in the world to try an thaw that ice age with a massive regulatory bill for 1/6 of the company that will help restructure the insurance market for millions of private citizens and help bring the deficit back down. A lot of money gets spend on healthcare via private payments to insurance companies, and it makes plenty of sense to legally ensure that people get something for their money, because when they do, when we all contribute to large insurance pools, together we are able to support those in need by defrayed cost, and one day almost everyone one of us will get sick. It's in our best interests to ensure that the insurance companies are legally obligated to maintain financially sustainable market pools instead of just taking the money for themselves when someone gets sick and they decide to keep the money we've all been paying in for these rainy days instead of paying it out to that citizen and customer in need.

    March 20, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  13. midwestlady

    If this bill is passed, it will be a travesty of justice. The AMERICAN PEOPLE DO NOT WANT THIS BILL TO BE LAW. We will see to it that these democrats LOSE IN NOVEMBER. COUNT ON IT.

    WE HATE YOU. THE CONGRESS IS A JOKE NOW. YOU REMEMBER THAT, SCUM.

    March 20, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  14. adam

    Actually Rep. Jenkins & Luetkemeyer we are wising up and will not be fooled. We know that "deem and pass" means that the House IS voting on the Senate Bill and the revisions at the same time and a lot of us like what we see and the vast majority will be better off if it passes.

    March 20, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  15. Linda Iowa

    Funny how it it when the shoe is on the other foot. When republicans used every rule they could to cram things thru to help the rich it was ok. Shame on them!! That is what the American people are thinking!

    March 20, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  16. worriedmom

    and do you???? It is all about power. People need to start living outside the bubble of DC and see how real hard working Americans live.

    March 20, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  17. Jenn, Philadelphia

    If Rep. Hastings is so sure what his constituents think, then he should take a stand and vote for the bill. This "deem and pass" ploy is the coward's way out. The President has called for an up and down vote and now he tell us the "ignore the process". I hope they put the language about taking your health care coverage with you when you change jobs, many of them are going to need that come November and the President will need it in 2012.

    March 20, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  18. Truth

    He's right.

    March 20, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  19. wheres the trurh

    The repubs only lied about the illegal war in Iraq and maybe worse. The ACLU just got a document released about how the bush cohorts pressured the 911 commission not to look to deeply into the facts

    March 20, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  20. Mark

    I never thought the democrats would be able to do so much damage to this great nation in such a short period of time.

    March 20, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  21. Deceive?

    Deceive the American People? Really?

    The Republitards need to look in the mirror to see who is really deceiving us.

    March 20, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  22. Omavi

    A dmocrat with a BACKBONE?! (Quick! Alert the media!)

    March 20, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  23. Vic of New York

    REPUBLICANS: Do you really think anyone gives one flying FART about how this is passed? Maybe your cronies at FOX News want to make it an issue. Maybe the MINORITY of right-wing voters want to make it an issue.

    But truthfully, I could give a rats tail how it passes.

    I'll see you at the polls in November too. Because Lenny Lance in NJ-7 is going to be running with his hands covering his Republican tail come this November - guaranteed!

    March 20, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  24. ElToro

    If no vote is taken on the bill before the house, then this is clearly unconstitutional if it is sent to Obama to sign. That would be a tragic moment for our Republic. Health care can be reformed without such treasonous actions.

    March 20, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  25. Slider

    "You don't know what all of the American people think. And you certainly don't know what those in my constituency think."

    The American people in large majorities have told this jive turkey what they think of the healthcare proposal put forth by Democrats. Since the rest of the Democrat Party is a bunch of jive turkeys who have suddenly come down with a case of deafness, you should fit right in with your impeachment as a judge.

    The majority of Americans don't care what a constituency thinks that would elect an impeached judge for bribery and perjury to represent them. It speaks volumes about Hastings' constituents of which one would not have to put much critical thinking into coming up with the fact that many of these people are indigents and do not pay taxes for the services they receive.

    Did you enjoy riding around in that Lexus you paid for with taxpayer money, Alcee?

    Sir, and I use that term with no import of its true meaning, you are not part of the swamp Pelosi claimed to want to clean up. By being appointed a part of the House Rules Committee you ARE THE SWAMP.

    We know your bonehead constituents will not vote you out in November, but at least you will be out of power in a committee.

    March 20, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
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