[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/16/art.gibbs.file.gi.jpg caption ="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.