Hoyer said that House leaders have not yet decided on a path for the legislation. “We will vote on it in one form or another,” he said. If House Democrats use the self-executing approach, “it's consistent with the rules, it's consistent with former process, and it's consistent with having members express themselves on the Senate bill as amended by reconciliation,” Hoyer said.
GOP members are criticizing the move as a way of skirting a possible shortfall of Democratic votes on the bill. Hoyer responded that Republicans have used the self-executing rule themselves, even more frequently than the Democrats.
Hoyer didn't seem to think the self-executing rule would raise public ire. “The American public is not focused on process. They're focused on change ... on the result,” Hoyer said.
He would not say whether the Democrats had enough votes to pass the bill on a traditional basis. That's the domain of House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), he said.
“Every member of our caucus wants to vote for healthcare reform,” Hoyer said. “That doesn't mean every one of them will vote for the bill.”
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