The Huffington Post blogger Ryan Grim reported today that Pelosi was seriously considering using the Slaughter rule. Should the Democrats use the Slaughter rule there will be serious consequences; the worst of which is an end to the American Democracy as we know it.
First we must explain the slaughter rule. What is being proposed is that instead of voting on the Senate bill unchanged in an up or down vote, Slaughter will write a rule that stipulates if the changes to the Senate bill proposed by the House pass then so does the original bill. There will be no up or down vote on the Senate bill. Obama again is breaking his word with the American people. Obama called for a Health Care summit to listen to the best proposals from both parties so Health care would pass. Instead of a President working for the American people, what we got was a Committee Chairman discounting Republican ideas followed by an ultimatum: Pass my bill or we will use reconciliation to bypass the Republicans". For the last week Obama has been traveling around the US clamoring for an up o down vote. Yet the House can't pass Health Care reform on an up or down vote so they are attempting an end around the constitution. Instead of voting the Senate bill up or down the Democrats will invent a rule passing a bill without a vote.
The House bill is making changes to the Senate bill. That opens up debate in the Senate and brings back the filibuster. Of course the Democrats can't overcome a filibuster without at least some bi-partisan (read 1) support. What the House is doing is making changes to a Senate bill by doing an end around the Constitution. Simply put a bill in the House cannot, I repeat cannot pass by a rule. It has to be voted on, an up or down vote I thought Obama has been clamoring for.
The Slaughter rule will have dire consequences. Our Democracy will come to an end as we know it. No longer will the majority of Americans have a voice. All that will matter is which political party is in power. Nothing will ever have to be debated again. Rules will just be written that will pass bills without a vote. For instance, next time Republicans are in power they write a rule passing a bill that outlaws abortion and insert the rule into a bill and use reconciliation to pass the bill in the Senate. No need for debate, no need for the constitution just pass every unpopular bill through a rule without having to actually vote for the bill bypass the constitution and we have the law of the land. Laws will only be effective as long as the ruling Party stays in power. After that the new majority will change the previous laws not by voting but by rule.
Bottom line here is the Slaughter rule is all about one political party in America becoming a dictator. Next thing you know they will pass a rule that says there is no need for elections Democrats will be in power forever. The Slaughter rule is no different that what Hugo Chavez is doing in Venezuela. The Democrats are changing the rules so they stay in power. How ironic, Representative Louise Slaughter will write the Slaughter rule which will slaughter the American Democracy.