Pelosi: ‘I Don’t See the Votes’ for Senate Health Bill

Posted January 21, 2010 at 10:36am

Updated: 12:36 p.m.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday “I don’t see the votes— in the House for passing the Senate version of the health care overhaul unamended, effectively foreclosing on one fast-track option for salvaging the reform measure.

“In its present form, without any change, I don’t think it’s possible to passthe Senate bill in the House,— Pelosi said in a Thursday press conference,after a morning meeting of House Democrats. “The Members have been veryclear in our Caucus about the fact that they didn’t like it before it hadthe Nebraska provision and some of the other provisions that are unpalatableto them.—

Pelosi said that “everything is on the table,— and beyond talking down swiftHouse adoption of the Senate-passed health care reform bill, she said lawmakers are still workingto evaluate their options.

“But there is a recognition that there is a foundation in that bill that isimportant,— Pelosi said. “So one way or another, those areas of agreement that we have willhave to be advanced, whether it’s by passing the Senate bill with any changesthat can be made or just taking pieces of it.—

“We’re not in a big rush,— she said. “Certainlythere would be great consensus to take the most popular part of the bill andadvance it, and that would be positive, but we have serious other structuralthings that have to be done,— she said.

Democrats have been scrambling for a way forward on health care reform, an effort that was further complicated on Tuesday after Republican Scott Brown won the Massachusetts Senate special election and shattered that chamber’s filibuster-proof majority.