The House's healthcare vote could be delayed until as late as Easter, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said Tuesday.

Clyburn, in an interview with McClatchy Newspapers, said it is possible that the House vote on healthcare reform could take place long past the vote Democratic leaders had hoped for this week. 


"The chances are good, but I wouldn't bet on it," the third-ranking House Democrat said of whether a healthcare vote could be held by the April 4th holiday. 

Democrats are working to cobble together the necessary votes to either pass the Senate's healthcare bill with a separate set of fixes to it, or a congressional rule that would deem the Senate bill as having passed.

Clyburn, whose leadership job is to serve as chief vote-counter for the Democrats, said that the vote on healthcare could be closer than previous nail-biters the House has held on the stimulus act and on its own healthcare bill. 

"I need 216 votes to pass this bill," Clyburn told McClatchy. "I think I'm going to get 216 votes. It could be closer than last time. All I want is 216 votes."

"The stimulus vote was nothing compared to this," the majority whip added.