BIG VOTE TOMORROW NIGHT — MAYBE…. The stage is set for a historic vote tomorrow night in the U.S. House on health care reform. This morning, however, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) conceded that it’s not definitely going to happen tomorrow night, and it might even be delayed until next week.
There are some lingering problems getting Democratic holdouts on board…
House Democrats acknowledged they don’t yet have the votes to pass a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s health care system, and signaled they may push back the vote until Sunday or early next week. […]
The apparent problem: Democrats have yet to resolve intraparty disputes over abortion funding and illegal immigrants’ access to health care.
…and House Republicans may use various parliamentary tactics to stall, pushing off the vote.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) is warning action on a health care overhaul could slip past a planned Saturday evening vote into Sunday — or even Monday or Tuesday — if House Republicans employ delaying tactics.
“I have not said the bill might get pushed back. But clearly, things happen,” Hoyer said on a Friday morning conference call with reporters.
Hoyer added, “We’re very close.” It’s his “expectation” that a vote on final passage will occur between 7 and 8 p.m. eastern.
A total of 218 votes will constitute a majority and pass the bill, which means, with no GOP votes, the leadership can withstand 40 Dems breaking ranks. By most counts, there are 25 “firm” votes from Democrats opposed to the bill, and a couple of dozen — some on the left, some on the right — that are in play.
President Obama was scheduled to make a personal appeal to House Dems on the Hill today, but the meeting was rescheduled for tomorrow in light of the Fort Hood shootings.