Democrats late Saturday night said the 216 votes needed to pass the bill were nearly within their reach, but acknowledged that the margin of victory would likely be razor thin even under their most optimistic scenario. Republicans said they still held out hope of derailing the legislation.WaPo:
House leaders were working to secure their votes late Saturday...CNN:
Senior Democrats predicted a cliffhanger when the House is expected to vote Sunday night, saying they are likely to clear the 216-vote threshold for final passage by the narrowest of margins. Democratic leaders huddled in the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) late into the evening, reviewing the final list of commitments.
Former President Bill Clinton made several phone calls Saturday to lobby wavering Democrats to sign on to the health care reform bill, Democratic sources told CNN.
Clinton made phone calls to an unspecified number of House Democrats on Saturday as leaders tried to round up the 216 necessary votes to pass the bill.
According to CNN's latest count, 33 House Democrats plan to vote against the legislation. Thirty-eight Democratic "no" votes are needed to kill the bill....UPDATE: CNN is reporting some statements from the Sunday morning shows:
"This is a historic day and we are happy warriors," Rep. John Larson, D- Connecticut, told CNN's "State of the Union." He added, "We've got the votes."Oh? You've got the 216 votes?
But the chief deputy whip in the House, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Florida, cautioned, "We don't have a hard 216 right now." Schultz made the statement to "Fox News Sunday" just as Larson was speaking to CNN.I watched that show and noticed how Wasserman Schultz was careful not to claim to have the votes. And she was really trying to put a happy face on the Democrats' struggle — which was pretty hard to do in the presence of Paul Ryan (the other guest) and Chris Wallace. At one point, when Ryan was talking dollar amounts, she accused him of being "in the weeds" and changed the subject to breast cancer and rushed to a punchline about how she's tired of the way insurance companies act like being a woman is a pre-existing condition. It seemed really desperate — like she'd gone into automatic mode. Or maybe she thought the guys — Chris and Paul — were irritating so she'd use her time to rope in the female viewers who must be out there.
Wasserman Schultz added, "I firmly believe we will have 216."