News 6: Oklahoma’s Frank Lucas: Healthcare Bill Is Flawed

Mar 18, 2010
In The News

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas says he objects to how the majority in the U.S. House is handling the healthcare bill process.

The Republican, who represents Oklahoma’s 3rd district, says it’s wrong for the House to vote on changes to the Senate’s version of the bill and not the actual bill itself.

"If the speaker uses this procedure to pass a once in a generation bill, this is a once in a generation bill, then I think not only have we, have they broken the spirit and fairness of house rules, they will have stepped all over the responsibilities and commitments that our citizens gave us back home last election day and in my opinion they will have stepped all over the constitution."

Lucas and the rest of the Oklahoma delegation plan to vote no.

Lucas says he objects to how the majority is handling the bill as much as he objects to the bill itself.

The House would use a strategy called "deem and pass."  If the Democratic leadership gets enough votes, it would "deem" the Senate bill passed by approving the rule that governs debate for healthcare.  Once the bill is deemed to have passed, the House would then vote on a set of changes to the Senate bill negotiated between the two chambers.

The process would make it possible for Democrats to avoid a direct vote on the healthcare vote, which some believe would help their re-election chances in November.

"I think its a flawed law and they’re going to put it through a flawed process and the ultimate product will be flawed as a result," Lucas said.

Lucas says he can’t imagine the pressure Democrats in the House are getting from the White House, but he says that’s no excuse for the House leadership to use "deem and pass."

"That’s where they’re heading, pass a once in a generation bill full of flaws without having people directly vote on the bill, it’s just flabbergasting."

A vote on the bill is expected this weekend.

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