Pelosi: House Can’t Pass Senate Health Bill ‘At This Time’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) press conference at the Capitol this morning is churning dramatic headlines about how health reform is dead. But she really doesn’t say that. In fact, she says just the opposite.
“We have to get a bill passed — we know that,” she said. “That’s a predicate that we all subscribe to.”
She added: “I don’t see the votes for it **at this time. … **In every meeting that we have had, there would be nothing to give me any thought that that bill could pass right now the way that it is.” [Emphasis mine.]
And that may be true. But remember that the same could have been said at almost any point during both the House and Senate debates last year. It required all kinds of concessions and back-room deals to get Democrats on board, which is exactly how these things work. Don’t think for a second that similar negotiations aren’t happening right now to get reluctant House Democrats behind the Senate bill, which remains the quickest way for party leaders to pass their top domestic priority and move on to the economy, which needs some addressing if they want to fare better in November than they did this week in Massachusetts.
The health care bill, under this scenario, couldn’t be altered. But there’s nothing to prevent the persuasive sweeteners from showing up in some other must-pass bill further on down the line.