Dodd: Preferable to pass health bill in straightforward manner

Democrats should try to pass their healthcare bill in a straightforward method if possible, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) urged Tuesday.

Dodd, one of the chief authors of the Senate's healthcare bill, said it was his preference to not use the so-called "deem and pass" that's reportedly under consideration by House Democratic leaders. 

"If you asked me would you prefer to see this done without these exotic procedural moves, absolutely," Dodd said during an appearance on CNBC. 

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The Connecticut senator, who oversaw the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee in the absence of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), said though that process issues took a backseat to the importance of finishing and passing the legislation. 

Plans under consideration would see House Democrats vote on a rule that would deem the Senate's healthcare bill to have passed and make changes to that bill that was passed by the Senate in December. The maneuver would let House Democrats sidestep an actual vote on the Senate bill, which contains some controversial elements lawmakers are reluctant to be seen as supporting. 

Dodd said that while it was better to move forward on healthcare without controversial maneuvers, Republican opposition might force the majority's hand on the issue.

"I would prefer we did this in a straight manner," he said. "But you've seen what happened here politically."

The Connecticut senator, who is retiring next year at the end of his term, said that the public would react negatively to Democrats falling short on health reform efforts. 

"I don't have a vote count here in the Senate, but my instinct tells me that Nancy Pelosi will produce the votes," Dodd said during an interview on CBS this morning. "To lose all of that, I think the public would react negatively. So I think we've got a good chance of passing this bill."


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