Health Votes Pose Imminent Test For Pelosi; Hutchison Pledges To Stay In Senate As Long As Reform Debate Continues
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's latest test on a health reform overhaul will come in the form of living up to the words that she has the votes on a health reform package, Politico reports. "Pelosi must balance the diverging interests of her own members while simultaneously satisfying Senate Democrats and working with President Barack Obama and his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, a former House colleague with whom she has an uneasy relationship. And even as Obama, Emanuel and (Senate Majority Leader Harry) Reid have struggled to execute the Democratic agenda, she has delivered on her end of the bargain, winning House approval of a health care bill, a climate change bill and a jobs bill" (Bresnahan and Allen, 3/1).
In the meantime, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, said last week that she "is prepared to stay in the Senate for as long as eight more months if Congress is still debating health care reform," The Dallas Morning News reports. Hutchison has said she will leave the Senate, but she said her opposition to Democratic tries at health reform will ensure she stays until the try at health reform is over. Hutchison is campaigning for governor of Texas (Gillman, 2/27).