- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rep. Mike Pence said Tuesday he and fellow Republicans will exhaust every method to keep House Democrats from passing health care reform without a vote but declined to say whether they would appeal to the courts if the legislation reaches President Obama’s desk.

“Republicans are going to use every means at our disposal to make sure the Constitution of the United States of America is specifically enforced on the floor,” Mr. Pence, Indiana Republican, told The Washington Times’ “America’s Morning News” radio show.

Democrats purportedly are considering two tactics to pass the president’s reform plan without the necessary votes from Republicans and some Democrats. The “reconciliation” strategy would allow the House to pass the Senate bill, then pass amendments to resolve the differences. Democrats also are said to be considering the use of the “self-executing rule,” or “Slaughter rule,” which allows House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to “deem” the House has passed the Senate bill.

The rule refers to Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, New York Democrat and chairwoman of the House Rules Committee, which has the authority to grant waivers to legislation and amendments.

A final vote could take place this week.

Though Mr. Pence vowed the GOP would fight the tactics, he would not say whether Republicans would challenge the legislation after President Obama signs it into law.

“I’ve been ducking that question for five days, and I will duck it once more because I don’t think this bill will pass,” he said.

Mr. Pence has joined other Republican leaders in saying they are not obstructing much needed reform, just representing the majority of Americans who don’t support the legislation.

“I think the overwhelming majority of people want health care reform that brings down the cost of health insurance without growing the size of government,” said Mr. Pence, a five-term congressmen and chairman of the House Republican Conference. “Therefore, they want government to say no to this bill.”

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