WASHINGTON (AP) - House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer says
Democrats will have the 216 votes needed to pass health care reform
when it comes to the floor for a vote.
The Maryland Democrat predicts that the bill, President Barack
Obama's signature domestic policy, will pass on Sunday because the
majority of Americans want it.
But House Republican leader John Boehner says the Democrats have
yet to lock in the 216 votes required for passage. The Ohio
Republican says the plan is a government takeover opposed by the
vast majority of Americans.
The House leaders condemned the racial taunts hurled at congressmen during protests
on Capitol Hill on Saturday. House Democratic leaders are predicting the
health care bill will get at least the 216 votes it needs to pass
later today, even though they're still nailing down commitments.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told NBC's "Meet the Press"
that some members are still "trying to make up their minds."
The Democrats' vote-counting whip in the House, James Clyburn of
South Carolina, says some of the undecideds want greater assurances
that no federal money would be used for elective abortions.
Democrats have raised the possiblilty that those concerns could
be alleviated if President Barack Obama issued an executive order
reiterating long-standing law barring federal aid for abortions
except in cases of rape, incest and a threat to the life of the
mother. Clyburn says more will be known about that possibility by
One Democrat who had been concerned about the abortion issue,
Ohio's Marcy Kaptur, says she has decided to vote for the bill. She
says she's convinced it will maintain existing law on abortion.
Top Democrats are voicing confidence they have the votes to pass
the health care reform bill. AP correspondent Jerry Bodlander
House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.
House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer says he's confident of
enough votes for the health care bill to pass.
The leader of a key bloc of anti-abortion
House Democrats says he's hopeful of an agreement that would allow
him to vote for the health care bill.
Congressman Bart Stupak of Michigan says he and a half-dozen
other abortion opponents worked Saturday night with House leaders
to craft a presidential executive order affirming current law
barring federal funding for abortions.
But with the critical vote coming Sunday, Stupak tells MSNBC the
issue is still not finalized, and unless it is, he and others will
Stupak wants a separate vote on anti-abortion provisions, but
House leaders are looking to skirt that controversy with an
executive order instead.
Stupak ally Marcy Kaptur of Ohio says she will support the