Hoyer Says Health Vote Could Be Delayed
"House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said 'delay tactics' could prevent the vote from occurring at the 6 p.m. Saturday scheduled time," and "suggested the debate could go into Sunday or next week," The Hill reports. "But he also acknowledged that leaders do not yet have the 218 votes they need among House Democrats to pass the bill." The Hill reports that "House leaders are expected to incorporate any compromise on abortion into the bill Friday in the Rules Committee. Republicans have said that doing so violates the pledge by Hoyer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to have the complete text of the bill available to the public for three full days prior to consideration of the bill" (Soraghan and Allen, 11/6).
USA Today: "'Unless there are delaying tactics,' Hoyer said on the call, organized by Families USA, 'I think we can finish debate by tomorrow night.' But, he added, the House would consider the bill 'to (its) conclusion' and added that "Monday and Tuesday is a possibility" (Fritze, 11/6).
The Associated Press: "Hoyer sought to pin the blame for any possible slippage on delaying tactics expected from Republicans, who unanimously oppose the health care remake. 'Nice try Rep. Hoyer, but you can't blame Republicans when the fact is you just don't have the votes,' said Antonia Ferrier, spokeswoman for House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio. Republicans could stall the bill by demanding roll-call votes on parliamentary matters (Werner and Alonso-Zaldivar, 11/6).
The Boston Globe: "House leaders are trying to rush the bill -- one of the largest and most complex pieces of legislation considered in recent years -- through the lower chamber quickly. They fear that with every passing hour, more issues could arise and create obstacles to passage. Hoyer said discussions are ongoing over two side issues, abortion and immigration. If the House and Senate both pass legislation, Hoyer said -- rather ominously -- that he expects a 'relatively lengthy and difficult conference' given the major differences between the House and Senate and the complexity of the bill" (Wangsness, 11/6).
The Wall Street Journal: "Signaling the unease of some freshman Democrats in swing districts, Rep. John Adler of New Jersey said Friday he will vote against the bill. Mr. Adler, who won his first term in 2008 with 52% of the vote, said the House bill 'does not do enough to contain costs.' He added, 'Congress should not pass a bill that costs more than $1 trillion' over 10 years. New Jersey was the scene of a big Republican victory on Tuesday, when Chris Christie defeated Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine in the state's gubernatorial race" (Yoest and Vaughan, 11/6).
Meanwhile, "[t]he House will not vote on a liberal Democratic plan to have a fully government-run 'single-payer' healthcare plan, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Friday," The Hill reports in a second article. "Pelosi (D-Calif.) declined to pursue a single-payer plan in the healthcare overhaul. But Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) secured a commitment from leadership in July to have an 'up-or-down vote' on the single-payer approach during floor debate...The amendment almost certainly would have lost, but would have demonstrated what support there is among Democrats for single-payer. But as the vote, now planned for Saturday, has neared, Pelosi has seemed increasingly reluctant to open the bill up for any amendments, even from her own party" (Soraghan, 11/6).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.