House sends Senate healthcare
bill to Obama's desk;
219-212The House made history with the passage of comprehensive national healthcare reform Sunday, giving President Barack Obama a major legislative victory after more than a year of intense debate.
The Senate healthcare bill passed the House a vote of 219-212. Thirty-four Democrats voted against their party, and against the legislation. As expected, the Republican opposition was unanimous.
Less than one hour later, the House approved a package of changes to that legislation that will now be considered by the Senate under budget reconciliation rules that will prevent Republican senators from blocking the bill with a filibuster.
Democrats prevailed on that measure in a 220-211 vote, with 33 Democrats voting no.
Democrats also defeated a GOP motion to recommit the Senate bill, which would have killed the legislation, in a 199-232 vote.
Though the outcome seemed in doubt even as the House convened Sunday morning, as it had at numerous points throughout the past year, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) ultimately was able to deliver the votes and further cement her reputation as one of the strongest leaders of the House in decades.
"Imagine a society where someone could change jobs without losing health insurance,” Pelosi said in her floor speech, urging members to support the legislation. "Imagine an economy where people could follow their passions and their talents without having to worry that their children would not have health insurance."
Pelosi also offered a tribute to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.): "It wouldn’t be possible to talk about healthcare without acknowledging Senator Ted Kennedy, who made healthcare his life’s work," she said.
In a 15-minute speech, GOP Leader John Boehner (Ohio) told members they should be ashamed to be approving a bill he said is not supported by their constituents.
President Barack Obama is expected to sign the Senate healthcare bill into law without delay. His signature will allow the Senate to consider the reconciliation bill.
Read more HERE from The Hill