“Deem and Pass” is dead. There will be an up or down vote on the Senate bill in the House.

But not until the House passes amendments to the Senate bill before it passes the Senate bill:

House leaders have decided to take a separate vote on the Senate health-care bill, rejecting an earlier, much-criticized strategy that would have permitted them to “deem” the unpopular measure passed without an explicit vote.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said Saturday that the House would take three votes Sunday: first, on a resolution that will set the terms of debate; second, on a package of amendments to the Senate bill that have been demanded by House members; and third, on the Senate bill itself.

Van Hollen, who has been working on the issue with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), said House leaders concluded that that order — approving the amendments before approving the Senate bill — makes clear that the House intends to modify the Senate bill and not approve the Senate bill itself.

The House is getting the Senate bill, because the amendments will be the subject of trench warfare in the Senate under the reconciliation process.

Obama will sign the Senate bill, then move on to other things.

This is and always has been word games.

Any House member who votes for the Senate bill will have to live with the consequences of forcing the country to live with the Senate bill.

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