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Democrats close in on the votes for health-care reform

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Jon Ward
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      Jon Ward

      Jon Ward covers the White House and national politics for The Daily Caller. He covered the last two years of George W. Bush's presidency and the first year of Barack Obama's presidency for The Washington Times. Prior to moving to national politics, Jon worked for the Times' city desk and bureaus in Virginia and Maryland, covering local news and politics, including the D.C. sniper shootings and subsequent trial, before moving to state politics in Maryland. He and his wife have two children and live on Capitol Hill. || <a href="mailto:jw@dailycaller.com">Email Jon</a>

Democrats appeared to be closing in Monday on achieving support from enough lawmakers in the House to pass a historic and sweeping health-care reform bill, though the outcome was still far from certain.

President Obama signaled said that while Democrats do not yet have the 216 votes they need in the House, he believes the votes will be there when they need to be.

“I believe we are going to get the votes. We are going to make this happen,” Obama said after a rally in Cleveland, during a brief interview with Jake Tapper of ABC News.

Hours later on Capitol Hill, a high-ranking House Democrat said the votes were, in fact, there.

“I believe we have the votes and that we will get this bill done this week,” said Rep. John Larson, the Connecticut Democrat and chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. He offered no details to verify his claim, but an aide clarified that his intent was more of a prediction than an statement of current conditions.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, was similarly confident.

“When we bring the bill to the floor, we will have the votes,” she said at an afternoon press conference.

Meanwhile, the small group of rank-and-file House Democrats whose votes will decide the matter ran from reporters as they exited the House chamber following a vote late Monday.

The Daily Caller caught seven House Democrats on their way out of the chamber who voted against the health-care bill in November but have yet to commit which way they’ll vote this time and are considered likely to switch their vote – Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania, Brian Baird of Washington, John Barrow of Georgia, Glenn Nye of Virginia, John Tanner of Tennessee, Allen Boyd of Florida and John Boccieri of Ohio.

All but Boyd and Boccieri refused to make any comment.

“No please, no please,” Barrow said in response to repeated questions about whether he will vote for or against the bill.

“I am not interested in talking,” Murphy said.

“I don’t have anything to say,” said Altmire.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, the Ohio Democrat who had been a definite no up until Obama flew him to the Cleveland rally on board Air Force One, also declined to comment to The Daily Caller on his way out of the chamber.

  • moira1987

    “When we bring the bill to the floor, we will have the votes,” she said at an afternoon press conference.

    And yet, they keep talking about using the “Slaughter Solution.” Why would that “solution” be necessary if Blinky had the votes?

    Also, as for the dishonest argument that voting on the “fix” bill which would “deem” that the Senate bill had been passed is the same thing as voting on the Senate bill itself…it defies simple logic. “Deeming” the Senate bill passed implies that it is acceptable “as is.” But the “fixers” clearly indicate that the Senate bill is NOT acceptable “as is.” This means that you can’t replace a roll call vote on the Senate bill, which is required by law, with a rules committee gimmick and then claim that voting on the one is the same as voting on the other. The members of the House have the right to cast a vote on the Senate bill itself and, furthermore, the constituents who elected these representatives have a right to see that the bill gets voted on and to hold the representative responsible for his/her vote.

    Also keep in mind that this is all happening because A) a Republican was elected to the vacant Senate seat in Massachusetts and B) because the Democrats can’t get a consensus without resorting to all the disgusting sausage-making tactics that we have been seeing day after day. It’s not the Republicans who have been holding things up. How could they? Don’t the Democrats have an overwhelming majority in the House? Didn’t they have a super majority in the Senate? None of the healthcare legislation that has been proposed by the Democrats has satisfied a majority of Democrats. And the polls are consistent that the American people don’t want this particular legislation. But of course the Democrat leaders have already expressed their disdain for the American people, so…

  • johnanderson

    Looks to me like Pelosi is down to asking congressmen to sacrifice their jobs for this bill. I wonder how that’s going to turn out.

  • palmeto

    Its all over for the crazy lefties. Its really fun to watch the unraveling..

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  • jwdeek

    Pelosi is going to need some serious health care is she tries to sneak this through using b.s. proceedures.

    Check out the latest at http://www.onlibertyandfreedom.com

  • strawhat88

    Angry, tea-baggy white people are angry and tea-baggy. News at 11.

    • moira1987

      Wow! Substantive… Thanks Olby!

    • thephranc

      Angry black TEA party people are angry too. Why are you such a racist that you have to be dishonest and leave out black people?

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