Friday, January 22, 2010

Pelosi Says House Lacks Votes for Senate Health Plan

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said her chamber lacks the votes to pass the Senate’s health-care legislation, dashing hopes of a quick resolution for President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority. “In its present form, without change, I don’t think it’s possible to pass the Senate bill in the House,” Pelosi told reporters today in Washington. Senate Democrats no longer have the 60 votes they need to overcome Republican delaying tactics and pass legislation after a loss in the Jan. 19 special Senate election in Massachusetts. That means the party had to change course from its plan of combining separate House and Senate bills and sending the new measure back for votes in each chamber. Passing the Senate plan, as is, would be the quickest option because it could go straight to Obama’s desk for his signature. Democrats are considering scaling back the bills to win passage, and Obama may start a new effort to reach out to Republicans, who have been united in opposing the legislation, according to a person familiar with the more

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