QUOTE OF THE DAY…. It’s hard to say with any certainty whether the confidence is driven by bravado, behind-the-scenes commitments, or a whip strategy, but on the morning shows this morning, leading Democrats sure did sound confident about the fate of health care reform.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the healthcare bill will pass by next weekend.
“We’ll have the votes when the House votes, I think, within the next week,” Gibbs said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Gibbs added that those on next week’s Sunday talk shows “will be talking about healthcare not as a presidential proposal but I think as the law of the land.”
David Axelrod added the votes will “be there at the end of the day,” adding, “I believe it is going to happen this week.”
House Majority Whip* James Clyburn (D-S.C.), whose job it is to count votes, said this morning, “No, we don’t have them as of this morning. But we’ve been working this thing all weekend, we’ll be working it going into the week. I’m also very confident that we’ll get this done. I’ve been talking to members for a long time on this, and they have the will to do it.”
I haven’t seen any vote count, from anyone, that shows the majority near 216, but there seems to be a sense that as the various elements fall into place — a CBO score, a final reconciliation budget fix, an unambiguous commitment from the Senate, the likely inclusion of student-loan reform — the majority will fall into place, too.
The gamesmanship and strategizing is hard to decipher from the outside, but if the leadership thought there was a reasonable chance the votes simply wouldn’t materialize, the Democratic rhetoric this morning would sound quite a bit different.