Good morning from the White House press room...
A few weeks ago, President Obama was asked what he would do if a healthcare vote didn't go his way. His reply: "I always have a Plan B." But he gave no details.
Now we know. Plan B would be a non-vote vote.
The non-vote vote would involve a procedural manuever that would allow House members to vote on fixes to the Senate healthcare bill; Speaker Nancy Pelosi could then declare that lawmakers "deem" the healthcare bill to be passed.
If you're not a master of House procedures, this tactic - known as a "self-executing rule" or a "deem and pass" - is used quite often, though never for something as big as an $875 billion healthcare bill. Speaker Pelosi says there is an added benefit as well: the "self-executing" rule could politically shield lawmakers from having to support the full-blown healthcare bill publicly in an election year.
"I like it," Pelosi said during a chat with bloggers yesterday. "Because people don't have to vote on the Senate bill."
There's no question that such a tactic wouldn't even be floated by the House Speaker if she and the President had the House votes they need. In Ohio yesterday, where he gave his 53rd major healthcare speech of his presidency, Obama told ABC's Jake Tapper he would have the votes, and the White House is openly predicting that a healthcare bill will be a done deal by this weekend.
The President's Schedule
As the healthcare drama rolls on, the President will be out of sight today, with no public events on his schedule.
9:30AM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
10:00AM THE PRESIDENT meets with senior advisors
12:00PM THE PRESIDENT and DNC Chairman Kaine have lunch
Private Dining Room
4:30PM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT meet with Secretary of Defense Gates
1:00PM Briefing by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs
On This Day
1751: James Madison was born. He served as the fourth President, serving between 1809-17. Madison is also regarded as the "Father of the Constitution." As a member of the first Continental Congress in 1779, he and helped pass the Articles of Confederation. Then, with the help of Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, he then published the "The Federalist Papers," a series of articles that successfully argued for ratification of the Constitution in 1787. Although installments of "The Federalist Papers" were published under the pseudonym "Publius," it is estimated that Madison wrote at least half of the articles.
- thanks to the History Channel.com
"The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted." - James Madison.
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