- The Washington Times - Monday, March 15, 2010

Two House Democrats voted Monday against the first procedural move to pass President Obama’s health care overhaul through reconciliation.

The procedural vote passed the House Budget Committee 21-16, with all Republicans in opposition to using the complex tool that circumvents a filibuster in the Senate. Democratic Reps. Allen Boyd of Florida and Chet Edwards of Texas both voted against the House’s health care overhaul bill in November also.

Democrats voted to move forward on what is merely a “shell” bill — legislation that will be completely replaced once it moves to the House Rules Committee for another procedural vote.

The new text hasn’t been released it. It is the series of changes Mr. Obama has proposed to the Senate’s bill and is expected to come in at about 100 pages, White House aides told House Democrats last week.

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, ranking Republican on the panel, slammed the move as dishonest, calling it a “legislative Trojan horse” to clear the path for a government takeover of the health system.

Democrats don’t yet have the 216 votes required to pass the bills, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reaffirmed Monday that they will have them when the final votes are taken.

“When we bring a bill to the floor, we will have the votes,” she said at a press conference while surrounded by more than a dozen babies and by representatives of children’s groups that support the health plan.

Many of the lawmakers sitting on the fence have said they’re waiting to see the legislative text as well as a pending analysis by the Congressional Budget Office before declaring how they will vote.

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