The co-chairwoman of the Blue Dog Coalition says that using a controversial "deem and pass" mechanism to pass healthcare reform would be "poison."


In a conference call with reporters today, Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.), who is a "firm no" on the bill itself, said the process Democrats are considering would spell disaster for the climate in Congress.

"While deeming, like reconciliation, has been used by Republicans and Democrats in the past, the context in which it would be used in this case leads me to conclude that it would poison an already terribly partisan atmosphere and leave the Congress even less able to find bipartisan solutions to fiscal problems that are on the verge of becoming overwhelming," Herseth Sandlin said.

The "deem and pass" mechanism would allow Democrats to avoid a direct vote on the Senate bill and instead "deem" it to have been passed only when they make changes.

While the mechanism has been used before, many Republicans are calling in unconstitutional.