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Gibbs on 'deem and pass'

By Michael D. Shear
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs had an answer ready for the questions -- the repeated questions -- about whether his boss supports the idea of "deeming" the health bill passed.

"You're going to know where people are on health-care reform, and where they are on the president's proposal on health-care reform," Gibbs told reporters Tuesday.

And again: "There's going to be a vote on health-care reform this week. You're going to know where people are on health-care reform."

And again: "I think that you're going to ask people how they stand on health care. You're not going to ask them how they stand on 'deem and pass.' You're going to have a vote count that constructs not the process for the rule but where you are on health care."

Nowhere did Gibbs say whether the president liked the procedural tactic, or didn't like it.

When asked finally about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's quote that she likes the tactic because "people don't have to vote on the Senate bill," Gibbs punted.

"I would ask one of her capable spokespeople on what she had to say," he said.

By Michael D. Shear  |  March 16, 2010; 4:23 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Robert Gibbs holds the White House Press Corps captive in a small room, spinning their questions back to them, wasting their time, for an hour nearly every day. What if they refused to show up and spent that valuable time digging up real news instead?

Posted by: 2gdbtgred | March 17, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Gibbs is a great Press Secretary... as in great at saying little of nothing, which in my experience is exactly what a Press Secretary does.

I have to admit I like him a bit better than the last few. Bush went through them like the position was going out of style, but Gibbs appears to be in for the long haul. He looks comfortable in the hot seat. We will see if he has the t. fortitude to stick it out. Most don't!

Posted by: trident420 | March 17, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Paul65.......and I guess you see NO difference between what both parties have used this piece of political crap for in the past and THE FIRST...OBAMACARE....WHICH MAKES A SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE IN HOW AMERICA its "miscellaneous sweet deals" with politicos, labor unions, and other assorted folks who really are no better than you or me.

Posted by: connyankee1 | March 17, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Through all the smoke and mirrors, soaring rhetoric, on-stage hugs and choreographed moments, one truth seems, well, 'self-evident.' ... If the substance (still essentially a mystery to most) of this legislation was acceptable to the majority of the American public, and to a majority of their duly-elected representatives, it would have passed long ago and we could have moved on to solve other pressing problems. It hasn't because it is a flawed piece of legislation. All the little maneuvers and sneaky processes to pass the bill without reading it, without knowing what's in it, without even having to really vote on it are like magicians' tricks...meant to confuse and deceive and essentially ram down the public's collective throat that which cannot pass in the light of day and under the 'Constitutional process.'
If ObamaCare passes, the process will come under such scrutiny and the Congress and White House will be so vilified for having gone against the will of the people who put them there, that new means of polling will be needed to measure just how low the approval ratings of everyone in Washington have sunk...or put another way, we'll need new ways to measure how high the public's DISapproval of Congress and the White House have soared...
President Obamanation may get his signature bill "passed," but the damage and the outrage from coast to coast and from border to border will be deep and unyielding...He will have guaranteed Dick Cheney's prediction that he will be a one-term president, and the overturn of power in Congress will be assured. Come to think of it, THAT sunny outcome almost makes me want to see it pass... I said, "almost..."

Posted by: snoopy7666 | March 17, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Obama was the first to cut a "back room" deal over a year ago with the drug companies! READ:

This is just one back room deal after another and the bill needs to be killed!

Posted by: N369RM | March 16, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Republicans have resorted to talking about process issues like "deem and pass" because they know they can't win on the substance.

Proof: Republicans use deem-and-pass, reconciliation, and lots of other normal old Congressional procedures all the time to enact legislation which they support.

They just don't want to enact health care reform.

That's a shame, given that an overwhelming majority of Americans support nearly all of the specific changes in the healthcare bill.

Posted by: paul65 | March 16, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

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