Confident Democrats Predict House Passes Health Bill This Week
USA Today: "Top aides to President Obama hit the Sunday talk shows to proclaim that by the time they air again, the U.S. House will have signed off on major health care legislation. 'I believe it is going to happen this week,' said White House political adviser David Axelrod, speaking on ABC's This Week. 'I think we're going to have a vote'" (Jackson, 3/14).
ABC News has a video excerpts of Axelrod (Tapper, 3/14).
Reuters: "House Democratic Whip James Clyburn said Democrats were short for now of the 216 votes needed for approval but he was confident they could find them. 'We don't have them as of this morning, but we've been working this thing all weekend, we'll be working it going into the week, I'm also very confident that we'll get this done,' Clyburn, the No. 3 House Democrat who is entrusted with lining up the party's votes, said on NBC's 'Meet the Press.'"
"Obama delayed his first overseas trip of the year this week to help round up votes for healthcare reform" (Whitesides, 3/14).
The Washington Post: "Even as a House Democratic leader admitted that Democrats are still lacking votes, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs proclaimed on CBS' 'Face the Nation' that 'this is the week' that the House will pass the Senate's health-care reform bill and send it to President Obama's desk for his signature" (DeLong, 3/14).
The Wall Street Journal: "Speaking on 'Fox News Sunday,' Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D., Md.), who heads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said the votes 'will be there.' He said U.S. citizens, lawmakers and businesses understand that doing nothing wasn't an option."
"House Minority Whip Rep. Eric Cantor, (R., Va.) said many Democrats wouldn't support the bill and took issue with a procedural voting maneuver that could mean lawmakers wouldn't vote directly on the legislation. ... Mr. Van Hollen maintained there would be a majority vote, 'whether it's up or down on the Senate bill, or up or down on a procedure that would include passage of the Senate bill'" (Fields and Hughes, 3/14).
The Associated Press reports that "Ohio Rep. John Boehner says Republicans alone can't stop the legislation. But he says Republicans are 'going to do everything we can to make it difficult for them, if not impossible, to pass the bill.'" He spoke on CNN's State of the Union (3/14).
CongressDaily notes that the "timeline" is expected to start tomorrow, "with a Budget Committee markup of the reconciliation package. ... Democratic committee leaders said Friday that they want to finish the markup before midnight" Monday.
"House leaders will have to work this week to convince skeptical rank-and-file members that the Senate will pass the reconciliation measure. The president will sign the Senate bill before the chamber takes up the reconciliation measure, a move that makes House members skittish, given the different ways the bill could stall or get tripped up in the Senate" (Edney and Sanchez, 3/15).