The House is forgoing a plan to pass the Senate health care bill and the reconciliation "fix it" bill, opting instead to take two votes.
Uncertain about whether they had enough votes to pass the less-popular Senate health care bill on its own, Democratic leadership planned to create a rule to "deem" the Senate bill passed upon voting for the reconciliation bill.
The "deem and pass" solution was, who called it the (in reference to House Rules Chairman Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York), even though their party has used it as well.
The House Rules Committee decided today, however, that the House will vote tomorrow on the reconciliation "fix it" bill first, following two hours of debate. Then they will immediately vote on the Senate's health care bill. There will be no debate in-between the vote on the reconciliation bill and the vote on the Senate bill.
"What this gives us the opportunity to do is to vote for the amendments first and then the Senate bill," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said to reporters today. "We believe this is a better process."
Hoyer added that he believes Democrats have the votes to pass both bills, and had every reason to believe the Senate will pass the reconciliation bill, where it will only need a majority of 51 to pass.
"We have seen a letter... signed my more than 50 members of the Senate indicating they are supportive of the reconciliation bill," Hoyer said.
More Coverage of the Health Care Reform Debate:
Details of the Bill:
What's in Health Care Bill? Take a Dose
Health Care Special Deals: What's Left In?
Dems Include Student Aid Reform Package in Bill
Health Care Bill Extends Tax to Investments
Read the Text (PDFs): Complete Senate Bill | Reconciliation Measure