GILLESPIE: And you have to keep the vote open for a couple of hours, or three. And that may be where they are. But the contortions they're going through to get this bill done tells you everything about it. The fact is, they are going to abandon their formerly principled opposition to using reconciliation for things like health care, which they opposed when President Clinton was president. They wouldn't use reconciliation for the Medicare reform bill when President Bush was president, now they're going to use it for this and they're going to take it down to 51 votes to get it passed. And then they're going to use this deeming rule in the House maybe to sneak -- so they're going to ram it through the Senate and try to sneak it through the House. That tells you everything about where the public is on this bill.
ROBERTS: The truth is, the public is divided on this bill. And when you go into questions about how they feel about particular aspects of it, there's a lot they like.
The Democrats have calculated, I think, correctly, that they have nothing more to lose on the whole sort of process questions. The Republicans are going to characterize this as a bill passed by a corrupt Congress that has tickle parties, that has, you know, does things in the dead of night on Christmas Eve, and it's thousands of pages and on and on and on. And that ship has sailed, so the Democrats might as well get the substance and go to the American people and say, we've brought a change in health care because the status quo is unacceptable.
TAPPER: Ed was referring to the deeming resolution. That's when the House doesn't actually vote on the Senate bill. It's deemed to be part of the rule when they introduce the fixes to the Senate vote.
ROBERTS: You have now just thoroughly confused the American people.
The truth is, though, these process votes do matter in terms of election. I remember very well in 1961 -- I wasn't covering Congress then, but I knew it well -- when some Democrats, Southern Democrats voted to expand the Rules Committee, and the purpose of that was to get civil rights legislation passed. And several of them lost their seats. It was a very principled vote, a process vote, and they did lose their seats.
The same thing will happen this year. The Democrats will lose their seats over process. But they will take the chance because of the substance.
TAPPER: George, Congressman, former Congressman Ray LaHood, who is now the transportation secretary, but was a Republican member of Congress, he has an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune saying -- talking about why, as a member of the House, he would have voted for this bill, because this bill reduces the deficit and also brings down health care costs, and it will make insurance more affordable. Do you believe he would have voted for it as a Republican congressman?