…they don’t even have a plan on how to get them! Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) insisted this weekend that she “will be able to get the votes needed to pass sweeping health care legislation in the House.” What this really means is that she does not have those votes right now. And if you were watching the television yesterday it quickly became apparent that the leadership in the House has no idea how they are going to get them. First Speaker Pelosi on This Week:
VARGAS: If — but the point is when it does finally come to vote on it in the House, you’re certain that you can muster the 217 votes that you need…even with the differences over abortion language? Things…
VARGAS:… that there are members of the House who voted in favor of it before, who are now saying, “We can’t vote for this bill, because of the Senate language on abortion?
PELOSI: Well let me say I have this in three — just so you know how we sequence this. First we zero in on what the policy will be. And that is what we’ll be doing — following the president’s summit yesterday.
Secondly, we’ll see what the Senate can do. What is the substance? And what is the Senate prepared to do? And then we’ll go to the third step as to what my — my members will vote for.
Meanwhile, Pelosi’s second-in-command, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) was singing a different tune on Face the Nation:
BOB SCHIEFFER: We’re back now with our panel. Steny Hoyer, there’s been a lot of back and forth. Senators say the House has to go first. Some in the House are reluctant to go before the Senate goes. Are you, number one, willing to go first and don’t you have to?
REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: We– whether we’re willing or not, we have to go first if we’re going to correct some of the things that the House disagrees with, correct, change so that we can reach agreement, the House will have to move first on some sort of corrections or reconciliation bill