Clyburn says CBO report gets Dems to 216

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report released today will likely push Democrats across the finish line in their quest to get 216 votes, Democratic Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said tonight.

The CBO's preliminary estimate found that the legislation would cost $940 billion and reduce the deficit by $138 billion over the first ten years.

Speaking to PBS's Charlie Rose tonight, Clyburn was asked if the report will "close the deal" for Democrats.

"I think so," said Clyburn, who said earlier today that he was "giddy" about the CBO's numbers. "I really...believe that the people who were very leery about what this would do to the country's debt and deficit are very pleased with this."

"It’s exactly what we had hoped for, but I tell you, very few of us thought it would be this good," Clyburn added.

The South Carolina Democrat said the largest outstanding issue for his caucus is abortion.

"The toughest one right now is getting all of our anti-abortion people comfortable with the Senate language," he said.

A dozen or so pro-life Democrats have said they'll vote against the bill if abortion restrictions aren't strengthened.

Clyburn had said this weekend that Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), one of the most outspoken opponents of the Senate abortion provisions, would end up supporting the legislation. He backed off that claim tonight.

"Well, I thought he might get comfortable with the language and could in fact vote for the bill.  I'm not sure that he will," Clyburn said.



More in Blog Briefing Room

Report: Trump gets most social media attention

Read more »