House Passes Health Reform

Historic measure advances after late deal-making
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2010 9:55 PM CDT
Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina gestures as he walks through Statuary Hall as the House prepares to vote on health care reform in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Sunday, March 21, 2010.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – Cheers erupted on the floor of the chamber as the House passed the Senate health care reform bill tonight, 219-212, after a late compromise on abortion funding gave Democrats the votes they needed to advance the historic measure. The vote followed 9½ hours of contentious debate that wrapped up with an impassioned speech by Nancy Pelosi. "We may not have chosen the time, but the time has chosen us," said the speaker, who compared the legislation to Social Security and Medicare.

The bill then cleared two procedural votes and now moves to President Obama for his signature. It must also go through the reconciliation process in the Senate, which will vote on a package of amendments introduced to get House members on board, reports the Washington Post. Obama, who has staked his political reputation on passage of the bill, must balance his eagerness to celebrate the accomplishment with reluctance to appear to get ahead of himself, notes the New York Times.
(Read more House of Representatives stories.)

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