Election Night in the Oval Office

By MichaelJames

Jan 22, 2010 5:56pm

A Democratic official tells ABC News that on the night of Sen.-elect Scott Brown’s upset victory in Massachusetts, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., were meeting with Vice President Biden in the West Wing when President Obama called them into the Oval Office.

They all knew that the Democratic Senate candidate in Massachusetts – attorney general Martha Coakley – was a goner, thus eliminating the Democratic 60-vote supermajority in the Senate.

President Obama said they needed to discuss to think about a Plan B for health care reform legislation.

Pelosi told them that the push to have the House pass the Senate bill seemed a non-starter; she was very skeptical that progressive Democrats would go for that.

Both Pelosi and Reid said they thought the dust to settle a little bit, that they would all benefit from letting the craziness Brown’s victory would set off to dissipate.

It has not yet been decided whether the plan for health care reform legislation will be to draft a new, more modest bill as the president described to ABC News' George Stephanopoulos – insurance reforms, an expansion of Medicaid — or a more ambitious but still scaled-back version of the House-Senate compromise that Democrats have been working on.

-jpt

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