Today, Democrats in Congress reversed their decision to try to pass the Senate health reform bill without directly voting on it. House Democratic leadership's attempt to use a procedural dodge, "deem and pass," was criticized by Rep. Jim Cooper from the moment he learned of the maneuver. Cooper voted with the Republicans to stop this shortcut around regular House rules. Although that vote failed on a 232 to 218 vote, Cooper was joined by 27 Democrats who also supported a clear up-or-down vote on health reform.
"This is a victory for transparent government," said Cooper. "Congress should vote in an open and honest way. I am glad that the Rules Committee changed their mind and now agrees with me to have separate votes on the Senate bill and on the reconciliation bill."