House Democratic Caucus Leader John Larson told CNN’s Candy Crowley that Democrats have the votes to pass health care reform in the House today.
“We’ve got the votes,” said Rep. Larson of Connecticut.
Simultaneously appearing on Fox News, Chief Deputy Whip for House Democrats Debbie Wasserman Schultz wasn’t as firm. “We don’t have a hard 216 right now,” she admitted.
Larson was relatively stoic in his insistence that today will be the big day.
“This is a historic day and we are happy warriors,” he said. “We are so proud of the Democratic caucus. We will be a part of history joining Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s passage of social security, Lyndon Johnson’s passage of medicare and now Barack Obama’s passage of health care reform.”
“So you’ve got the 216,” Crowley asked.
“We’ve got the votes,” Larson replied.
On Fox, Wasserman Schultz of Florida was confident as well, though she admitted the count of Democrats who will vote yes is in flux.
“Congresswoman, let me start with you,” Chris Wallace said. “As the whip you’re one of the nose-counters. Do House Democrats have the votes? Will you pass the Senate overhaul and the reconciliation fix-it bill today?”
“Yes I think we will,” she answered.
“When I asked you just before we went on the air,” Wallace pressed, “you said the whip count is in flux, really?”
“The whip count is always in flux,” she said. “We don’t have a hard 216 right now. So I couldn’t tell you which 216 members we will have, but I believe firmly that we’ll have 216.”
Fox News is running the headline “Dems don’t have the votes” on their homepage. Their story is here.
This video is from CNN’s State of the Union and Fox’s Fox News Sunday, broadcast March 21, 2010.
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