That's what Nancy Pelosi said when asked yesterday if she had enough votes to pass the health care bill on Saturday. That means she doesn't yet have it. She is scrambling, according to the San Francisco Chronicle
: "Pelosi's party holds a 40-vote margin over Republicans in the House,
but Democrats in swing districts are worried about the cost and reach
of the health care bill amid widespread joblessness and enormous
federal deficits. Leaders sought to resolve lingering disputes over
abortion and immigration."
Every other news report on the subject notes that the votes are not yet there. (Reuters
, New York Times
, Washington Post
) So why try pushing this vote through now, knowing that the Senate isn't going to consider it until next year? Because, as predicted, given the sentiments revealed in the elections on Tuesday--the massive shift of independents
to the GOP (in the case of Virginia, 66%-33%)--Pelosi will certainly not be able to push it through next year, for the self-preservation of circa 50-60 more modderate Democratic Congressmen will really kick in and they will then have to vote against it. Pelosi knows this. But they still might oppose it on Saturday. And yet, Saturday is her best shot.
But in fact, I expect the House NOT to vote on Saturday because I think there will be at least a couple dozen Dems who will either say they will oppose it or will claim that they haven't yet made up their minds; Pelosi will have to back off, else there is a chance that she will lose the vote and that would be worst thing that could happen to her. She would lose all authority (and honor). This scenario will depend on how each member reads the polls is their district. If I read the polls right there will be no vote on Saturday, the moderate Dems self-preservation is already kicking in.
Addendum: The fact that the unemployment rate
has jumped to 10.2% and is likely to go higher is not going to help Pelosi.