House 18 Votes Short on Health Care

An internal whip count document obtained by Greg Sargent at The Plumline shows that the House is coming up short on support for its health-care bill, which features a "robust" public option. House leader James Clyburn said, "We currently do not have the votes for a robust public option." Liberals shot back that Democratic leaders in the House need to be more aggressive in pushing the government-run option, which would give them leverage with Senate leaders when debating the final bill. Of the 256 House Democrats, 55 are either voting "no" or leaning in that direction. That leaves fewer than the 218 votes needed to pass the bill. At least a dozen representatives remain undecided.