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Down to the Wire: Reps Spar as Health Care Vote Looms

Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., says Dems have the votes to pass health care reform.

ByABC News
March 21, 2010, 7:21 AM

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2010— -- One of the top Democrats in the House says the Democrats have the votes to pass health care reform -- even though some Democrat members might lose their seats as a result.

"We have the votes. We are going to make history today," Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said today on "This Week."

"President Roosevelt passed Social Security, President Roosevelt passed Medicare, and today, Barack Obama will pass health care reform, demonstrating whose side we are on," Larson told ABC News guest host Jonathan Karl.

Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., the Republican whip, said that "there will be no Republican votes for this bill."

He added that if the bill does end up passing today, "it's because [the Democrats] are using everything in their political power -- and even some things, they shouldn't have -- in their political power, to cut political deals to deliver the votes."

Cantor cited the so-called "Louisiana Purchase" as an example of a sweetheart deal used to get votes in 1803. "If this thing does pass, the American people are going be outraged," Cantor said. "They are scared about this bill."

Larson, the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House, conceded that, as a result of today's vote, it is "quite possible" that some Democrats will lose their seats this November.

"Every time you have a mid-term election, you risk the chance of losing members," he said. "But it isn't about how many members are going to lose their seat ... It's about this moment, it's about the truth, it's every reason why you were elected to come and serve in Congress."

Turning to what the potential ramifications of the bill's passage, Karl asked Rep. Cantor whether he agreed with Minority Leader John Boehner's statement that "this bill will ruin our country." Cantor wouldn't agree with the Ohio congressman's characterization, but he said Americans "are full of fear" about the health care legislation, which is a "bad bill."