The openness and transparency that Speaker Pelosi promised on the healthcare legislation is disappearing, and with that, so is the public’s right to see the changes being made behind closed doors to “appease the rank and file”:
A vote on House health care legislation may face a delay as Democratic leaders admitted Friday they don’t have the support of 218 Caucus members, but any changes in the legislation to appease wavering members could force Speaker Nancy Pelosi to break a pledge to post the final bill online for 72 hours before lawmakers vote.
The House was expected to vote on the bill as early as Saturday, but Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland said Friday morning that the vote could slip to Sunday or early next week because Democratic leaders haven’t secured the 218 votes needed for passage. Republicans are unanimously opposed to the sweeping legislation..
House Democratic leaders faced down a revolt from Hispanics in the Caucus who say they don’t want a prohibition supported by the White House but not in the House bill that restricts illegal immigrants from buying insurance through a government-established exchange. A ban exists in the Senate version of health insurance reform.
But Pelosi and others are also working furiously to finalize language to restrict federal funding of abortion demanded by pro-life Democrats. Democrats are looking to add the new provisions as part of the debate “rule.”
The House Rules Committee was meeting Friday to craft the parameters for debate and the head of the committee, Rep. Louise Slaughter, has indicated that none of the 104 amendments submitted will be added.