White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs tonight acknowledged that the House may pass the Senate health care bill word-for-word, now that Democrats have 59 seats instead of a filibuster-proof 60 in the Senate.
It was apparently the first time the White House directly acknowledged that as an option.
“We’ve got a bill that’s passed the United States Senate. And one of the ways that is being discussed to get health care reform, to make it a reality, is to have the House work on the Senate bill,” Gibbs said on MSNBC.
“Health care reform legislation isn’t gonna go through the Senate until Sen.-elect Brown becomes Sen. Brown. But that doesn’t have to stop health care reform,” he added.Over the last day, the Obama administration has remained vague about how health care will proceed, if it can no longer pass the Senate due to a Republican filibuster. In an interview with ABC News, President Obama urged lawmakers only “to move quickly to coalesce around those elements of the package that people agree on.”
And in an official White House blog post, Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer wrote, “The President’s preference is to pass a bill that meets the principles he laid out months ago.”