Hoyer Provides Vote Expectancy for the Health Care Bill on ABC

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... >> all right, marysol. >>> well, for almost a century, democrats have promised to reform american health care. but the idea has never reached a vote on capitol hill. that could change today. but here's the drama. not a single republican will vote for the sprawling trillion dollar bill. so, democrats need 218 votes. as of late last night, they didn't have them. the president is going to the hill today to convince some of those members to go on the side of passing that bill. and just a moment ago, i spoke with house majority leader, steny hoyer. congressman, good morning. thank you for being with us. >> good morning, bill. good to be with you. >> we'll start with the trillion dollar question. how many votes do you have? >> we'll have the 218-plus. >> you'll have those by tonight? >> by the time we vote, yes. >> we were with speaker pelosi, the day this bill was unveiled. what was surprising, were the democrats that didn't. abortion opponents who didn't like the language. illegal immigration was an issue there. what was the biggest hurdle here, in the 11th hour? who did you have to convince? >> that's the biggest hurdle was convincing, as you point out, progressives and bluedogs, that the compromises that had been reached, the legislation that was fashioned, is, in fact, good for the country. good for constituents. good for small business. good for their families. i think we've done that. obviously, when you put a piece of legislation together this large, there are many different views as to how that can be done. but what we've done, is fashion a piece of legislation, that we think does establish the objective of providing affordable, quality health care for all americans. and that was our intent. >> if you have 218-plus, as you say, will you call the president and tell the president he doesn't have to come up today? >> we're pleased to have the president come up. the president clearly is excited about today, as we are. after all, for a century almost, theodore roosevelt to this president, have been saying that we need to make sure that all americans have affordable health care they can count on. and this day is a day which i think many, many generations have waited for, for a very long time. so, president's going to come up. he's going to talk to us about this objective. this was an objective he talked about during the course of the campaign. said he was going to get accomplished. one what also remember most is the republican candidates, indeed all of the republican candidates, as well as all of the democratic candidates in last year's primary, indicated this was an objective they wanted to accomplish. we are on the path of doing just that. >> this week, we learned that the unemployment rate nationally tops double-digits. it's above 10%. and there were the elections. republicans won some key gubernatorial seats. how would you describe how that affects your caucus? the minds of men and women running in those conservative states? >> first of all, let me say, with the unemployment rate of 10.2%. we're very disappointed in that, as you can imagine. while the loss of jobs has decreased, almost every month since the passage of the recovery and reinvestment act, it's still too high. and the number of unemployed is still too high. we certainly need to focus on that and work very hard to bring those numbers down. now, in terms of the election, bill, that you asked me about, we were heartened, i will tell you, in the house of representatives because in both of the congressional races, in which federal issues were the focus, and our two candidates were for health care reform. they're both going to vote for health care reform today. >> steny hoyer, democrat from maryland. we appreciate you getting up with us this morning, which you were going to do anyway. >> thanks a lot, bill. good to be with you. >> we'll be right back. now you can get the latest name brand hdtvs, where you already save. well actually, just a few rows over, in walmarts expanded electronics depatrment. get unbeatable prices on today's latest hdtvs, from sony, vizio, phillips, sharp, and samsung. they're a lot closer than you think. save money. live better. walmart. (announcer) sinus pressure. you can blow your nose but nothing comes out! because the real problem isn't always mucus. it's often swelling from inflammation. advil cold & sinus relieves swelling and sinus pressure. the right medicine for the real problem. advil cold & sinus - just show me the carfax. - i've got something i have a note from the previous owner. just show me the carfax. a carfax report can help you choose a great used car. it's free at thousands of reputable dealers. just say, ""show me the carfax!"" ...