January 21, 2010
Pelosi: Not Enough Votes to Pass Senate Health Bill in House
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she does not have the votes to pass the Senate's version of a health insurance bill that is now in severe jeopardy of being scrapped.
WASHINGTON -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she does not have the votes to pass the Senate's version of a health insurance bill that is now in severe jeopardy of being scrapped.
Just days ago, that was the most viable option for keeping alive President Obama's top domestic priority, but with the election of Republican Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, the fragile coalition of Democrats has broken apart as lawmakers bicker over which portions of the $900 billion, 10-year Senate bill they will and won't accept.
Emerging from a closed-door meeting with her caucus, the House speaker vented frustration with the massive version of the legislation.
"In its present form without any changes I don't think it's possible to pass the Senate bill in the House," said Pelosi, D-Calif. "I don't see the votes for it at this time."
Lawmakers are now looking at options that were left on the drawing board as the party looks to pursue a more modest bill.
Moments after Pelosi made her startling announcement, Scott Brown, the Senator-Elect from Massachusetts showed up at the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid!