The Corner

GOP Pushes Back on Slaughter Rule

As Kathryn notes below, House Republicans will bring to the floor a resolution preventing the use of a self-executing rule, known in this instance as the “Slaughter Solution”, to “deem” the Senate bill passed without a direct vote. The House’s newest Republican, Rep. Parker Griffith (Ala.) will reportedly sponsor the resolution.

Rep. David Dreier (R., Calif.), ranking member of the Rules Committee, pledged support for the measure. In an e-mail Dreier said “This resolution would ensure that voters get what they are demanding and what they deserve – a fair, open, transparent vote that clearly puts each Member of Congress on record for the position he or she takes on the very critical issue of America’s healthcare system.”

Senior GOP staffers on the Rules Committee admit that at this point the resolution is largely symbolic, and say they don’t expect Democrats to allow the resolution to come to the floor.

But one senior staffer told National Review Online that the GOP believes there will be some push-back on the rule from nervous Democrats, and that Republicans believe they have a small but real chance of defeating the rule should Democrats bring it to a vote.

During a Monday press conference that included NRO, Dreier disagreed with a reporter who suggested that ordinary Americans don’t about the minutiae of legislative process.

Dreier said Americans became more focused on process in the wake of the controversial floor tactics used to ensure passage of the cap and trade bill in June of 2009, when Democrats used a self-executing rule to add a previously unseen 309-page amendment to the bill in the early morning hours on the day of the vote. Though it was passed with virtually no floor debate and no amendment process, Minority Leader John Boehner (R., Ohio) took to the floor to read from the amendment for nearly an hour.

“We finally got the American people focused on process,” Dreier said of Boehner’s floor speech. “Process is substance. What was it that came from that June 26 meeting? The mantra ‘read the bill’ was echoing all across the country.”

Daniel FosterDaniel Foster is a former news editor of National Review Online.

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