Speaker Nancy Pelosi had hoped to have a vote on her behemoth health care bill in a rare Saturday vote in what seemed to be a rush to hurry through unpopular legislation before any more issues could be raised about it. Today, however, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer indicated the vote may be delayed until Sunday or early next week. The reason? Democrats don’t have the votes to pass it as opposition to the bill is coming on multiple fronts, from both a fiscal perspective and a concern about federal funding for abortion led by Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak.
What’s even more comical is that Hoyer tried to pin the delay on those darn obstructionist Republicans. Um, don’t you have much-celebrated massive majorities in the House and Senate, Mr. Hoyer? The truth is the Democrats don’t need a single Republican vote to pass the bill, but Pelosi’s legislation is so bad that moderate Democrats are shying away from it. Tuesday’s election results didn’t go anywhere towards calming their fears, either.
There’s still a good chance that a vote will still happen tomorrow, but Democrats seem increasingly skittish, especially in the face of a new CNN poll (complete with a lame spin headline) that shows a 53/43 split in opposition versus support for the current bill and reveals a whopping 72% want Congress to either start fresh, make major changes, or quit altogether. That includes an astounding 60% of independents who reject the current proposals. Looking at all that, you can’t blame Democrats for getting heartburn and cold feet, but their fear of Pelosi may outweigh their fear of their constituents, as Byron York posits. Just the way the Founders would have wanted it, I’m sure.
It should be an interesting weekend in Washington.