Pelosi: Controversial tactic an 'option' for moving healthcare

The process would allow the House to “deem” the Senate bill passed when it votes on a package of changes to that legislation, perhaps as early as this weekend.

The procedure involves crafting a rule allowing for consideration of a reconciliation “fixers” bill that deems the Senate bill already approved by the House. Aides to the Speaker said the option is “under consideration.”

Republicans on Monday criticized the move, and said it would allow Democrats to avoid taking a tough vote on the Senate healthcare bill, which is under attack from the anti-abortion rights Democrats as well as Hispanic members and liberals.

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Pelosi said at a Monday press conference that no final decisions have been made, but that having the Rules Committee write such a rule for the reconciliation bill is “one option.”

“When we get our CBO score and our decisions from the Senate Parliamentarian, when we have the substance, then we will decide on the process,” Pelosi said.

“But that will be one option,” she said when asked about a rule that declares the Senate bill considered by the House.  “There are others.”

A Pelosi aide said Democrats are hoping for a Congressional Budget Office score on the reconciliation bill by Tuesday, and are preparing for a weekend vote on that legislation.

Pelsoi did not directly answer questions about when she intends to have a bill before the full House for a vote.

“When we have a bill, then we will let you know when we intend to vote,” she said.  “But when we bring the bill to the floor we will have the votes.”