Pelosi: House lacks votes to pass Senate healthcare reform bill

House Democrats lack enough votes to pass the Senate's healthcare bill, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday.

Pelosi threw cold water on the idea that the House could muster enough support to pass the Senate's bill, which includes a number of provisions liberals in the House find distasteful.

"I don't see the votes for it at this time," Pelosi told reporters during her weekly press conference. "The members have been very clear."

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Democrats have been forced to confront how they could proceed with healthcare reform legislation after having lost Tuesday's special election in Massachusetts to Republicans, giving the GOP enough votes to filibuster a bill in the Senate. One option under discussion has been passing the Senate bill, which would send the bill directly to President Barack Obama for a signature.

"We have to get a bill passed. We know that," Pelosi said, adding that "unease would be a gentle word" to describe House members' attitude toward the Senate legislation at the moment.


Still, the Speaker reiterated that all options are on the table, and House leaders had to always be prepared for the possibility that the Senate wouldn't be able to muster the 60 votes necessary to pass healthcare legislation.