Washington: The leader of the House of Representatives said on Thursday she lacks the votes to push the Senate`s sweeping health overhaul bill through the House, a potentially devastating blow to President Barack Obama`s top domestic priority issue.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi made the comment to reporters after her House Democrats held a closed-door meeting at which participants said lawmakers vented frustration with the massive version of the legislation.
House and Senate Democrats had been trying to reconcile different health care bills passed by both chambers. They hoped to reach a compromise that the House and Senate would vote on again.
Those plans were upended by their surprise loss of a Massachusetts Senate seat this week. That cost them the 60-vote super majority needed to overcome Republican procedural obstacles, meaning they would be unlikely to get a health care compromise through the Senate.
Democrats could avoid another Senate vote by having the House agree to accept the Senate`s bill. But some House Democrats object to some of its provisions. Many House members now prefer a more modest health bill in light of the Massachusetts vote. The winner of the race, Republican Scott Brown, had campaigned against the health bill.
Pelosi said, "In its present form without any changes I don`t think it`s possible to pass the Senate bill in the House, adding "I don`t see the votes for it at this time."