TPMDC Sunday Roundup

Pelosi: Health Care Can Still Be Bipartisan Without Republican Votes
Appearing on State of the Union, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) declared that “Bipartisanship is a two-way street,” and said the health care bill could still be considered bipartisan even without Republicans voting for it. “The bill can be bipartisan, even though the votes might not be bipartisan, because they [Republicans] have made their imprint on this,” said Pelosi, also adding: “We went into the legislative process – hundreds of hours of hearings and bill writing and all the rest – where the Republicans made their suggestions.”

McConnell: ‘If The Election Were Today, We’d Have A Very Good Day’
Appearing on State of the Union, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that Republicans are “optimistic” about this NOvember’s elections. “I think the elections in Virginia and New Jersey and particularly Massachusetts were encouraging. But, in the meantime, we need to be doing the people’s business and not trying to predict what the environment may be in November,” said McConnell, also adding: “If the election were today, we’d have a very good day.”Hoyer: ‘We’re Going To Move Ahead’ — But No Votes For A Specific Proposal Yet
Appearing on Face The Nation, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said health care reform will move forward. “We’re going to move ahead. We think that’s essential. We think it will bring down costs. We think it will improve the health of America,” said Hoyer. However, he also cautioned: “I don’t think we have the votes in terms of a specific proposal because there’s not a specific proposal on the table yet.”

Alexander: If Health Care Bill Passes, ‘We’re Going To Be Involved In A Campaign To Repeal It’
Appearing on This Week, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said there would be a strong campaign to repeal the health care bill if it passed through budget reconciliation. “Well, here’s what I think. I mean, the people are saying, ‘We don’t want it,’ and the Democrats are saying, ‘We don’t care. We’re going to pass it anyway.’ And so for the next three months, Washington will be consumed with the Democrats trying to jam this through in a very messy procedure an unpopular health care bill,” said Alexander. “And then for the rest of the year, we’re going to be involved in a campaign to repeal it. And every Democratic candidate in the country is going to be defined by this unpopular health care bill at a time when the real issues are jobs, terror and debt.”

Kyl: GOP Wouldn’t Be Able To Stall Reconciliation Health Care Bill With Amendments
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) said that Republicans would not offer amendments meant to stall the health care bill if it were to be passed under budget reconciliation, saying that the rules of reconciliation would themselves render this ineffective. “The opportunity to offer amendments is meaningless when there is only 20 hours to debate the bill,” said Kyl. “Nobody wants to do that but there isn’t an opportunity to debate the amendments.”

McCain: Yes, I Voted For Reconciliation Bills
Appearing on Meet The Press, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) acknowledged that he has in the past voted for bills that were passed through budget reconciliation. “Yes. Yes, I have voted for them, but I objected strenuously to us changing the rules so the Senate–so that 51 votes would prevail,” said McCain. “And let me also say that Robert Byrd also in the ’70s exempted Social Security. Social Security cannot be considered in reconciliation. We should do the same thing with Medicare. Lindsay Graham and I will be introducing legislation. Entitlements should not be part of a reconciliation process, i.e., 51 votes. It’s too important.”

DeParle: ‘We Will Have The Votes To Pass This In Congress’
Appearing on Meet The Press, White House health care czar Nancy-Ann DeParle predicted that health care reform will pass. “I believe that we will have the votes to pass this in Congress,” said DeParle. When asked by David Gregory whether the administration has the votes yet, DeParle did not say yes or no: “Well, look, the president will have more to say about that later this week, and he’s working with the Congress on how best to address that.”

Pelosi: ‘We Share Some Of The Views Of The Tea Partiers’
Appearing on This Week, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that she actually has some views in common with the Tea Party movement, in terms of wanting to fight special interests in Washington. “But, you know, we share some of the views of the Tea Partiers in terms of the role of special interest in Washington, D.C., as — it just has to stop,” said Pelosi. “And that’s why I’ve fought the special interest, whether it’s on energy, whether it’s on health insurance, whether it’s on pharmaceuticals and the rest.”