As we've previously covered, 220 members of Congress voted for the House Democrats' health care reform bill when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., brought the House legislation to a vote.
Since then, four yes votes are no more: Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao, R-Louisiana, has said he won’t vote for final passage, Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hi., retired to run for governor, Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Fla., also retired, and Rep. John Murtha, D-Penn., died.
That means to pass the Senate bill, Pelosi starts out with 216 members of Congress who votes yes last time.
Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., had planned on resigning soon to run for governor, which would have brought the total number of Members of the House to 431, meaning a majority would be 216 votes.
But yesterday President Obama announced that he wanted an imminent vote in the next few weeks. And White House press secretary Robert Gibbs today said the president hoped for a House vote on the Senate health care reform bill by the day the president is scheduled to depart for Indonesia and Australia, March 18.
And as ABC News’ Rick Klein notes, Deal announced today that he would postpone his resignation until later in March.
“Yesterday, as I listened to President Obama's aggressive push for a quick vote on 'Obama-Care,' it was clear that I must stay in Congress and continue to fight against the most liberal health care agenda ever proposed,” Deal said in a statement.
The GOP House leadership immediately praised the decision.
House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the “American people need every vote they can get in the effort to stop it from being enacted. Nathan Deal’s decision to remain in Congress for the upcoming health care vote is indicative of his long dedication to standing up for a common sense approach to changing health care.”
Back to 217.