President Barack Obama will try to block out of desperation a House-Senate conference intended to merge the two healthcare bills, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said Monday.

Barrasso, a leading GOP critic of the bill, said that Obama would lean on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to accept the Senate version verbatim and then send the bill to the president to be signed into law.


"The president is so desparate to get anything passed," Barrasso said on Fox News. "I believe him and the White House are going to try to convince Nancy Pelosi to swallow this whole Senate bill period so there is never a conference and it never comes back to the Senate."

Asked why he thought the president would take such steps, the senator responded "So he can say, you know, mission accomplished."

The White House has already indicated that a conference of House and Senate lawmakers would meet to reconcile the two bills, which have in some places very different language.

The House bill includes a government-run public healthcare option while the Senate bill offers a national health insurance plan provided by a nonprofit private exchange, among other differences.

Barrasso, however, indicated that the Senate bill must remain intact if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) wants to keep together alll 60 members of the Democratic caucus who voted for cloture on the bill early Monday morning. 

In the last few weeks, Reid has engaged in intense negotiations with several centrist holdouts in his caucus, such as Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), in order to gain their support for the motion to end debate and proceed to a final vote.

With 58 Democrats and two independents in the Democratic caucus and no Republican support, Reid had to garner the support of all members of his caucus in order to bring up a final vote.