TPM News

In a triumphant moment, President Obama appeared before cameras in the East Room of the White House just before midnight, with Vice President Biden at his side, to hail the historic health care vote in the House.

"This isn't radical reform, but it is major reform," Obama said in the late-night speech. "This isn't going to cure everything that ails our health care system, but it moves us decisively in the right direction. This is what changes looks like."

The President watched the House vote in the Roosevelt Room with staff. There was clapping and cheering when the vote total reached the magic 216, and chief of staff Rahm Emanuel got a high five, reported press secretary Robert Gibbs.

Obama is expected to sign the Senate health care bill Tuesday, House sources tell us.

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Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) released the following statement tonight about the House's historic health care reform vote. Here's the full text:

"Today's vote shows that leaders in Washington continue to ignore the will of the people. Americans have sent a message to Washington for the past year, including with my election, that they are opposed to this multi-trillion dollar health care bill that will raise taxes, increase premiums, cut Medicare and leave future generations with a mountain of debt. Instead of listening to these concerns and starting over on health care reform using a bipartisan approach, the president and others have forced through, with an arrogance of power, a health care bill complete with sweetheart deals that our nation doesn't want, and can't afford. The American people deserve better."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid released the following statement tonight about the House's historic health care vote. Here's the full text.

"Today, over a half million Nevadans are a step closer to quality, affordable health care. Tens of thousands of Nevada small businesses are a step closer to getting critical relief to support health care for their employees. Over 200,000 Nevada seniors are a step closer to a stronger Medicare program that puts money back in their pockets instead of padding insurer profits. This story can be told all over America, and it represents the real impact of today's passage of health reform in the House.

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Updated at 11:38 p.m.

By a razor thin margin of 219-212, the House of Representatives tonight passed far-reaching legislation that will lead to near-universal health care coverage in the United States -- a goal that has eluded Presidents and Congresses for a century.

The vote on the Senate bill concluded at 10:48 p.m., almost 10 hours after Democrats gavelled the chamber into session, confident the vote would be there. Within an hour, the House also passed the "fix" to the Senate bill, on a 220-211 vote. The separate, smaller reconciliation package will go to the Senate, where Democrats are expected to muster the 51 votes needed to pass it.

With two minutes left to vote on the Senate bill, the 216th vote was cast, leading to scattered applause in the visitors' viewing gallery gallery, and loud chants on the Democratic side of the aisle of Obama's campaign mantra "yes we can." As the 15 minutes allotted for the vote wound down, Democratic representatives counted down the clock: "3, 2, 1 ..." The time for voting didn't close immediately after the 15 minutes elapsed.

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House Minority Leader John Boehner gave a rather impassioned speech on the House floor moments ago. Asking the gathered representatives whether they could say that the health care reform bill was written openly and transparently, Boehner yelled, "Hell no you can't!"

Truly must watch.

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Senate Republicans have released a statement suggesting that the health care reform bill is in trouble in the Senate, apparently to scare off some wavering Dems ahead of the House vote.

The Republicans claim the Democrats refuse to schedule a meeting with them and the parliamentarian to review the health care bill before it's taken up in the Senate, though according to the Senate Democrats, the Republicans refused to attend a meeting they had already scheduled.

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