Nancy Pelosi Has the Votes to Pass Health Reform On A Day On Which There Will Not Be a Vote to Pass Health Reform

Nancy Pelosi is now claiming that if the vote were taken today, she'd have enough support from House Democrats to pass health reform. But according to The Daily Caller's Jon Ward, that's news to Rep. George Miller, a close Pelosi ally who responded "I don't know, I don't know" when asked to verify her statement. Indeed, according to Ward, even Pelosi's own staff won't confirm it.

It probably also comes as a surprise to liberal New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, who said on Monday that the votes don't yet exist, and to Missouri Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, who put the yes-count at only 201 votes earlier this week. Moreover, it doesn't jibe with the reports coming out today that House Democrats have told the White House to stop giving them deadlines, thankyouverymuch—that they'll turn in their homework pass health care reform when they're good and ready, and not any time before.

So what's actually going on? Well, it's possible that sometime in the last 24 hours or so, Pelosi actually secured enough votes to pass the bill. But given that the House hasn't even actually started an official whip count yet, I'm going to guess that this isn't the case.

Instead, it's more likely that she's worried about the ongoing bad press about the vote count and trying to build some momentum. As Keith Hennessey explains, in order to have the best chance of passing the bill, Democratic leaders need to publicly express as much confidence as they can get away with:

Public signs of optimism from the President, his team, and Democratic Congressional leaders tell us little.  We don’t know if they actually think they will have the votes, or if they are asserting that to try to make it true.  Imagine the impact if Speaker Pelosi were to tell the press “We might not succeed.”  Doing so would further embolden those marginal Members she is trying to convince to vote aye.  They are telling us they think they will succeed, but they have to say this whether or not it’s true.

The same is almost certainly true with the vote count. With all the unofficial whip counts being passed around suggesting that it will take a miracle—or at least a Papal declaration—to pass the bill, confidence in its eventual passage has been tough to build. So this statement is almost certainly Pelosi attempting to counter the story that the votes aren't there. Moreover, with a final CBO score and legislative language not yet available (both of which will be crucial to helping wavering moderates make their decision), it's a relatively low-risk claim: Pelosi says she could produce the votes today—a day on which, rather conveniently, no vote is realistically possible.

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  • ||

    If the Super Bowl were held today, I'd throw for four touchdowns with no interceptions.

  • Weekend Warrior||

    That's the greatest thing about the future, you see: it isn't here yet.

    On a related note, this also works for talking about something you "would have done" if some past event were taking place now. The greatest thing about the past is that it isn't here anymore.

    For example, if Antebellum chattel slavery were still legal in my state and still as popular and foundational to the local economy as it was back in 1850, would I be as bitterly opposed to it as I am now? Of course I would!

    See how easy it was for me to say that?

  • smartass sob||

    Uh...how bitterly opposed to it now are you?

  • Alan Vanneman||

    Gee, politicians engaged in politics! And right here in our Nation's Capital!

  • Warty||

    SHUT THE FUCK UP VANNEMAN

  • ||

    Hey Vanneman, would you do me a favor and go review Transformers 2 for me? It needs your particularly insightful level of analysis. Don't forget the imbecilic attempts at snark, please, and an in-depth analysis of Meghan Fox's motivations would be nice too.

  • ed||

    Are you implying that Mr. Vanneman is not a film critic extraordinaire?

  • ||

    I think Vanneman has pictures of the jacket involving woman's underwear and farm animals. The staff at Reason loves his dumb ass for reasons that escape everyone else in the world.

  • sage||

    Photoshop FAIL. You guys couldn't even add one measley wart?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Pinocchio didn't have warts, you fool. In fact, I'm guessing the photoshop jockeys had to airbrush a few of Pelosi's out to get the pic right.

  • Almanianocchio||

    We wood people call those "knots", thank you very much.

    Genus-ist...

  • ||

    with a final CBO score and legislative language not yet available

    Who says it needs to be available? The house just has to pass the senate bill as is. They can make up the language later.

  • Peter Suderman||

    Hazel, that's technically right: the House could simply vote the Senate bill into law. However, House Democrats, including Pelosi, have repeatedly made clear that they won't pass the Senate bill as is. And with cost control/fiscal responsibility coming out as a key concern for moderates, the CBO score may end up significantly influencing the eventual decisions of the currently undecided. So, like I said, realistically, there won't be a vote until the final legislative language and CBO score are available.

  • ||

    "Technically correct. The best kind of correct!"

  • ||

    I'm demoting you to grade 37 for that remark.

  • ||

    However, House Democrats, including Pelosi, have repeatedly made clear that they won't pass the Senate bill as is.

    I thought we were looking at two separate bills here:

    (1) The Senate bill, as is, and then

    (2) An amendment bill, which the Senate will pass via reconciliation.

    I thought the risk was that the Senate bill, once passed by the House, could go straight into law regardless of whether the amendment bill is ever passed.

  • Peter Suderman||

    You're right. There are two bills, just like you point out. But the House won't vote on the Senate bill without a score and leg. language to the fixer bill.

  • ||

    House Democrats, including Pelosi, have repeatedly made clear that they won't pass the Senate bill as is.

    I don't think that's true of Pelosi anymore.
    Though she may want other House Democrats to THINK so.

    She's pretty obviously in kamakazi mode.

  • ||

    Erg. I should add....

    What I'm suggesting is that Pelosi might *assure* House Democrats that they will get the language they want, purely on her word of honor, get the votes, and pass the bill, and then make up the language that she *claims* is what she "recollects" them agreeing to after the fact.

  • ||

    And, of course, once the bill is passed, there are enormous incentives for her to recollect wrongly.

  • ||

    I think she knows she's toast no matter what she does now (as Speaker, that is). So why not go down in a blaze of liberal glory?

  • ||

    Right. Listen to her rhetoric: It doesn't matter if it's unpopular, history will remember us, blah blah.
    She's exorting members to sacrifice their careers to pass this because it's the morally right thing (in her opinion) to do. If she really believes that (and she probably does) why wouldn't she cut her own throat too in the process? She can live a long life giving speaking tours at liberal colleges about what a great speaker she was for doing it.

  • ||

    She doesn't have a "word of honor".
    She lies like a rug.

  • A Humble Rug||

    FUCK YOU!

  • ||

    The moment they have the votes to do this, they will do it even if it means doing it at one in the morning the day before the November election. Every day they don't have a vote is a day they don't have a vote to pass this thing.

  • ||

    I agree, but I don't think you are taking into account the fact that they are losing momentum every day that they don't pass the bill. Pelosi & co. are under pressure to do it asap.

  • ||

    It's not low-risk in the long term (meaning, in a week or so). If a vote is never held, or is held but the bill fails, then it's going to be plain as day that Pelosi was lying.

  • ||

    If Pelosi is talking she's lying.

  • ||

    I underestimated Pelosi on the Cap and Trade vote. But this time around there is more at stake and no chance for amendments after the vote. I am so sure the bill is dead that I signed up for an intrade account this morning. Unfortunate Louisiana is Horse racing country so it has a state law against other online wagering.

  • ||

    Uh, oh, now Hit & Run is going to land at the top of Google "Nancy Pelosi with a big nose" search results.

  • ||

    Better that than your Wesley Crusher slash fan fic.

  • ||

    Setting your phaser to "project" again, Episiarch?

  • ||

    You like thinking about my--and Wesley's--"phaser", don't you. Just admit it. There's nothing wrong with it. In fact, I'm flattered.

  • ||

    You remind me of Sulu on Shore Leave, when he's caressing that gun. Should've know Takei was gay then, come to think of it.

    It would've been funnier if you'd said "I'm shatnered." How that word isn't part of regular discourse is beyond me.

  • ||

    Speaking of "Shore Leave", it occurs to me that Kirk had sex with a robot in that episode. I don't think he consummated with the robot he was hitting on in "Requiem for Methuselah", so that may be the sole instance of robot sex, unless I'm forgetting something.

    Just thinking about it, I suppose a more useful exercise would be to list what Kirk hasn't had sex with. He appears to be strongly heterosexual; otherwise, I think he's mated with everything.

    The Enterprise? You betcha.

  • Joe M||

    When my newborn son passes gas and jumps because of the noise, I say he fartled himself.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Instead, it's more likely that she's worried about the ongoing bad press about the vote count and trying to build some momentum.

    That's the dumbest plan since, well, since the legislation itself.

  • The Bumblebee||

    More like Joementum, amirite?

  • ||

    The Democrats could've backed out of this a while back, citing evil, right-wing conspiracies, racism, stupid media, evil insurance companies, etc., and tossed out some bullshit about focusing on the economy first. Would've been fine. Instead, they've gone so far with this issue that they lose no matter what happens now. Pass the bill and piss off moderates, conservatives, and the extreme left. Fail to pass, and look pathetic (and piss off the extreme left).

    I've seen the analogy used that the Democrats are trying to crash land a plane on an aircraft carrier. This is inapt. The correct analogy is a kamikaze pilot trying to crash a plane into an aircraft carrier. A subtle, yet significant difference.

  • Pelosi-san||

    Banzai, bitches!

  • ||

    Now if she were to commit seppuku in session, on live TV--without a second--I'd admire her. I wouldn't change my politics or otherwise change my opinion of her, her party, or DC in general, but I would admire her death. Especially if she came up with a great death haiku right before sinking the blade in her gut.

  • ||

    I can just see Pelosi standing up before the House like the Camp Commander in Bridge Over the River Kwi pleading that "if health care reform fails, I will have to commit ritual suicide". Man that would be some made for TV entertainment.

  • Brett L||

    Health care reformer
    the lepers touch of politics
    I should have done jobs

  • A Humble Rug||

    Wow!

  • ||

    Nice, but that sounds more like Obama's Farewell Address.

  • smartass sob||

    Now to death, for my
    Failure is the unkindest cut.
    Et tu, Obama?

  • smartass sob||

    unkind cut. (I can't count for shit these days.)

  • smartass sob||

    Or just leave the word is out of the original:

    Now to death, for my
    Failure, the unkindest cut.
    Et tu, Obama?

  • ||

    You would have to be a first class moron to actually believe that the Senate will ever pass the "fixes" to the bill Pelosi and Reid are promised. Once Obama signs this thing, health care will be done. He is going to have to lie his way out of the mess he is in and try to convince the voters he actually gives a shit about the economy. No one is going to care about health care anymore. And no fixes will ever be passed.

  • ||

    You would have to be a first class moron to actually believe that the Senate will ever pass the "fixes" to the bill Pelosi and Reid are promised.

    I agree, which is why I am puzzled that so many Representatives don't have a lot of faith that the Senate will pass the amendments.

  • Brett L||

    They've just gotten to the point where all of their political capital is tied up in Health Care. If they don't pass it, they'll have no base and no moderates in their camp. I think they shat the bed when they decided to keep playing in 2010, rather than let the thing die while they fiddled on the economy. Or when they let Harry Reid run the Senate. If this were fiction, he'd have to be a Republican plant. In any case, there's no other issue where the Dems are even close to a majority. This strategy might let some of the Blue Dogs live if HCR dies. Can you imagine the cat herding that would be another stimulus/jobs bill?

  • ||

    What if Obama had said after the Brown election "I have heard your message and we are going to put health care aside and concentrate on the economy" and then passed a bunch of bi-partisian tax and recovery bills with the Republicans and blue dogs. His popularity would be up over 50% right now. And the Republicans would have no shot at making any real gains in the November elections.

  • Brett L||

    Yeah. I never figured out why the White House let themselves get drawn back into HCR. The only thing I can figure is that they think the jobs/economy can only be bad... Either because the economy will be back on the upswing before any new action got through, or because the worst is still to come no matter what they do.

  • ||

    I think it is that Obama doesn't give a shit and just wants HCR. We always talk about how Presidents have bad advisers. It reminds me of when athletes get into trouble and their defenders say "they are hanging around with the wrong crowd". That could be true. But it might also be that the athlete's friends are hanging around with the wrong crowd, namely him.

    Same is true here. Maybe Obama has bad advisers. Or maybe the advisers have a bad President.

  • TXLimey||

    I think assuming that only one of those parties is bad is overly optimistic.

  • The Bumblebee||

    Obama is thinking about his legacy. The White House is probably panicked about the fact they promised HopeChange© but accomplished nothing accept wasting money.

  • ||

    Maybe Obama's advisers don't want to get fired for saying what he doesn't want to hear.

    This is a problem for people in positions of power in every area of human endeavor.

  • ||

    Hell, if he had just passed things to slowly expand government with the Blue Dogs and Brown plus the Maine twins, he'd have a much higher approval rating. But he wanted to go for it all.

  • ||

    Hell, if he had just passed things to slowly expand government with the Blue Dogs and Brown plus the Maine twins, he'd have a much higher approval rating. But he wanted to go for it all.

  • ||

    The server is really pissing me off today. I assume that this stupid proxy at work is responsible for part of it.

  • ||

    I don't think that would have worked out as well for Obama as you suppose. He still stinks of bailouts and the GM takeover, so the GOP would make significant gains in both houses.

    But at least it would have been less likely they'd take back the House and essentially impossible for them to take back the Senate.

  • ||

    If she can't get the votes ... this thing is going to stay active through November.

    The next election will be a referendum on Health Care Reform.

  • ||

    It's already going to be a referendum on Health Care Reform.

    I can't imagine what will happen if the house Dems go through with this Slaughter bullshit.

  • ||

    truth,,,,obama people have no idea of the extent to which they have to be gulled in order to be led."
    "The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one."
    "All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those towards whom it is directed will understand it. Therefore, the intellectual level of the propaganda must be lower the larger the number of people who are to be influenced by it."
    "Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise."pelosi don't see much future for the Americans ... it's a decayed country. And they have their racial problem, and the problem of social inequalities ...obama feelings against Americanism are feelings of hatred and deep repugnance ... everything about the behaviour of American society reveals that it's half Judaised, and the other half negrified. How can one expect a State like that to hold TOGTHER.They include the angry left wing bloggers who spread vicious lies and half-truths about their political adversaries... Those lies are then repeated by the duplicitous left wing media outlets who “discuss” the nonsense on air as if it has merit… The media's justification is apparently “because it's out there”, truth be damned. STOP THIS COMMUNIST OBAMA ,GOD HELP US ALL .THE COMMANDER ((GOD OPEN YOUR EYES)) stop the communist obama & pelosi.((open you eyes)) ,the commander

  • wizard of oz books||

    With many new announcement about the wizard of oz movies in the news, you might want to consider starting to obtain Wizard of Oz book series either as collectible or investment at RareOzBooks.com.

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