The success of Congress and the Obama administration this next election cycle hinges on its ability to pass climate change legislation, one of the House's lead proponents of such legislation said Friday.

"Failure is really not an option on health care," Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said during an appearance on MSNBC. "This is a make-or-break issue for President Obama and the Democrats in the Congress."

Waxman, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said he "couldn't imagine" Democrats having to campaign back in their districts without having achieved passage.

"I can't imagine some of the Democrats in difficult districts going home and running for reelection in 2010 and saying, 'Well, I don't have a health care bill,'" Waxman said.

The bill passed through the House by a narrow margin, but is still a way's off from being completed in the Senate, where it may be watered down to draw in centrist Democrats.

"Now, they're saying, well, maybe they did it they can get it out of the House, but how could they possibly do it in the Senate," Waxman said of the bill's prospects in the Senate. "Do you think senators cared less about our national security or global warming or trying to create jobs for our people?"