Writing in an op-ed in today’s Mooney Times, Jeffery Kuhner floats the idea of impeaching President Obama if health care reform passes. His argument is the same old strawman we have been hearing all week – the “deem and pass” of the House of Representative:
Many Democrats could claim they opposed the Senate bill while allowing it to pass. This would be an unprecedented violation of our democratic norms and procedures, established since the inception of the republic. Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution stipulates that for any bill to become a law, it must pass both the House of Representatives and the Senate. That is, not be "deemed" to have passed, but actually be voted on with the support of the required majority. The bill must contain the exact same language in both chambers - and in the version signed by the president - to be a legitimate law. This is why the House and Senate have a conference committee to iron out differences of competing versions. This is Civics 101.
Between 2005 and 2006 the Republican controlled House used this same parliamentary procedure 35 times. Did we call for the impeachment of President Bush because of it? Of course not. Of course Republicans are arguing that “it has never been used for legislation of this magnitude”. I have read the Constitution countless times and for the life of me I can’t find the language that says procedures are different depending upon the size or scope of the legislation.