The Washington Times - March 17, 2010, 06:53PM


Rep. Joe Barton (R - TX ) is saying the following about the Congressional Budget Office Score (presumably on the reconciliation package with the fixes) on his Facebook page:


 “health care issue is still up in the air…..the Congressional budget office score has come in at over 1 trillion $..yes …..1 trillion……if the bill is not posted by 6 pm today< we cant vote on it saturday…stay tuned”

 The Congressional Budget Office, has yet to post the numbers relating to the cost of the reconciliation package, but when it does expect House members who are undecided finally make a decision to either support or not support the Senate health care bill. Assistant to Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D -CA), Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D - MD) reportedly said voting on the reconciliation bill would likely happen this Sunday, which means the CBO numbers should be released on Thursday.

 Some members who are either “no” or “yes” votes could also change as well. The CBO numbers will also affect how the Democrats will go about procedurally and whether or not the Party will use the much criticized “deem and pass” measure to pass the Senate version of the health care bill.

 Mr. Barton’s reference to the timing of posting the bill has to do with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s promise to lawmakers to post the bill seventy-hours before the actual vote.

Democrat Congressman Robert Andrews (D - N.J.) spoke to reporters last night as he left Ms. Pelosi’s office and explained the delay of the CBO numbers has more to do with making sure the legislation can be insulated from legal challenges as opposed to issues relating to taxes and spending. “My understanding is this has been much more technical than substantive,” Andrews said.  “It’s not like what tax has to go or what spending has to go.”

While Democrats are optimistic that when official numbers come out from CBO, their caucus will have the votes needed to pass their health care bill, Rep. Mike Pence (R - IN) thinks otherwise.

 “I used to be in the majority. I used to be a deputy whip, and its always important that it look that way. My sense is that they don’t have the votes, and that because the American people are ringing the phones off the hook on Capitol Hill and expressing their growing outrage over this government takeover of health care, and this process whereby it will be deemed passed without a vote, I believe that this bill can still be stopped.”