Steny Hoyer and Eric Cantor Dialogue Over the Health Care Reform Bill on NBC

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... that's my daughter. >> well, she did a heck of a job here and we're glad to hear she's out of the hospital and recovering this morning. lisa, thank you so much for being with us. we do appreciate it. and now here's amy. >>> lester, thank you. president obama heads to capitol hill this morning to make a personal pitch to convince the majority of democrats to sign onto health care legislation. they need 218 votes to pass it. meanwhile, republicans have a plan of their own. virginia congressman eric cantor is the house republican whip, and democratic congressman steny hoyer is the house majority leader. gentlemen, good morning. >> good morning. >> good morning. >> congressman, you and speaker pelosi have said for weeks now you are close to getting that number, 218 votes. that said, how close are you this morning in terms of numbers, and will you bring it to a vote this morning? >> well, we're not going to bring it to a vote this morning. later on this afternoon or this evening we will bring it to a vote. we expect to have 218 votes. we believe the american having millions of uninsured americans without health care security is not only bad for them but bad for all of us because we're paying more and having a less healthy nation. we're going to fight for and have been working for, and every candidate in the last election said they wanted to see a health care reform bill that gave affordable, quality health care to all americans. that's what this legislation is about. we think we're going to be successful later today. >> all right, congressman cantor, democrats say if there is any postponement of this vote it will be because of republican delay tactics. what is the republican plan today? >> well, i tell you, amy, i think what's construct sieve to look to see where the bipartisanship is surrounding this health care bill, and the bipartisanship is around objecting and opposing the bill that steny hoyer is speaking about. i think the question is asking why is it that maybe 40-some of his members are going to join republicans in opposing this bill. i think the answer is there has been a message sent by the voters in this country as recently as this tuesday. people across this country are extremely concerned about what washington is doing to them, not for them. this bill is a massive overhaul. the system that we know, it will not allow folks to enjoy the kind of health care that we have to this point. and frankly, it won't do anything to reduce costs. >> congressman hoyer, i want to have you respond a little bit to congressman cantor's points because there are members within your own party who have serious concerns about this bill. some say it will cover illegal immigrants. others say it will fund abortion. we're down to the wire now. what compromises have you all made on those two issues specifically? >> it's not going to fund abortions. it's not going to fund illegal immigrants. and furthermore, amy, let me point out, mr. cantor mentioned the recent elections. there were two congressional elections held which federal issues and health care in particular were issues. in both of those districts, candidates won, two democrats won, one in a district that had been held by a republican for a hundred years. and the issue was should we have a health care reform bill like the one that's going to be on floor today, and in both those districts, the candidates pledged to vote for this bill. that was just some 96 hours ago. those two members who have just come from the electorate are going to be voting for health care reform for all americans to give them the security they need and to bring costs down which are unsustainable and the cbo of course says our bills are paid for. the republican alternative which they will offer frankly is a bill which will result in there being more uninsured americans ten years from now than there are today. that's not what americans voted for. that's not what they expect. and i think we're going to see the majority of the house of representatives vote to pass this bill, send it to conference so that we can get health care security for all americans. >> congressman cantor, both the american medical association and the aarp have endorsed this bill. you down played those endorsements this week. but these are two very respected organizations. don't those endorsements give this bill some credibility? >> amy, i think what we need to do is lettake into account the people that are watching your show this morning. these are moms and dads taking care of their family, having breakfast together. and what is it that this bill will do? what is it that our republican plan will do? one bill will put the government in between the families and their doctor, one bill won't. one bim will make it so that we have over a trillion dollars worth of spending over the next ten years and increase the deficit more than any that we have seen before. one bill will actually save money and will lower health care costs. the congressional budget office says that the republican plan is the only one that will actually reduce insurance premiums. and one bill will make sure that we take smart, reasoned approach to improving the system we have, ...