Chris Van Hollen Sets Vote On Senate Health Bill For March 19th or 20th

Chris Van Hollen (D-MA) sent out memo today, effectively saying the House will vote on the Senate health care bill in one week--on March 19th or 20th. The House Democrats will pass the Senate bill and then pass a reconciliation measure containing some “fixes,” which will then go to the Senate. The hope is that the Senate will pass this package of fixes quickly, and not leave the House Democrats holding the bag.

Scheduling the vote would seem to indicate that the House Democratic leadership believes that they have the votes to pass the bill, even without dealing with Stupak's gang.

It is also possible that, after concluding there was simply no way to deal with Stupak's demands, even if they wanted to, they decided to move ahead, anyway, even if they are still a few votes short of 216. They could be betting that by scheduling a vote they will create a sense of the inevitable that will force the undecideds off the fence. Either way, we should know in roughly a week.

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