Gibbs dismisses Slaughter critics as playing 'legislative process game'


There will be no doubt where lawmakers stand after the dust clears on healthcare, said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, who dismissed the controversy over the so-called Slaughter Solution Tuesday.

Republicans are crying foul over a proposed rule that would allow for House passage of the Senate healthcare bill without an actual up-or-down vote.

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Gibbs called the complaints "a legislative process game."

"I don't think there's any doubt this will be a final vote on healthcare," Gibbs said. "I don't think anybody is going to misinterpret the outcome of where people stand on healthcare.

"You're going to know where people are on healthcare reform."

Republicans are bashing Democrats' talk of adopting the Slaughter Rule, named after House Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), which would deem the Senate reconciliation bill passed without a House vote.

After Obama has spent the last several weeks demanding an up-or-down vote on healthcare, presumably in defense of reconciliation, House Minority Leader John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLobbyists race to cash in on cannabis boom Rising star Ratcliffe faces battle to become Trump's intel chief This little engine delivers results for DC children MORE's (R-Ohio) office seized on that argument, demanding a vote as well.

Gibbs dismissed those arguments, saying that there will be "some people who want to make this about the legislative process" and not about the uninsured.

Gibbs noted that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has not announced a decision about how to proceed with the bill, and added that Obama has not weighed in either.

"I'm not the Speaker of the House," Gibbs said. "She'll make that announcement. She'll make that decision."

The back-and-forth over the process comes as the White House continues to twist arms to sway Democratic lawmakers to support the legislation.

Obama was spending much of the week calling and meeting with undecided Democrats and talking to senators about passing the fixes House Democrats are demanding in the reconciliation bill.

"I think we are making steady progress toward passage of the bill this week," Gibbs said.

The president has even granted an interview to Fox News set to air Wednesday night.

"Obviously, they have a pretty big audience share," Gibbs said. "A lot of members that are undecided, they watch and their constituents watch this news."

Will Obama change those minds?

"It's certainly worth a shot," Gibbs said.