NPR logo Hoyer On Health Care: 'We're Going To Have The Votes'

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Hoyer On Health Care: 'We're Going To Have The Votes'

The majority leader of the House just said on Weekend Edition that when the time comes tomorrow to vote on the Democratic-designed legislation to overhaul the nation's health care system, "we're going to have the votes" to pass the plan.

Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., also said that "there are people (House members) who have not publicly indicated that they will support this legislation," but will step forward to give it the 216 necessary votes for passage.

Pressed by host Scott Simon on whether he and other Democratic leaders are offering wavering members special deals — in particular, money for projects in their districts — to secure their votes, Hoyer said no.

The leadership, he insisted, is making its case based on the "merits of the legislation" and lawmakers will "make this determination based on whether or not they think this plan is something that's needed and appropriate."

President Barack Obama will head to the Capitol later today to talk with Democratic members about the legislation.

As Frank wrote yesterday, The Washington Post has a vote count webpage here that's trying to keep up with the latest news on where the legislation stands. Right now, it says there are 179 firm "yes" votes, 207 "no" votes and 45 "undecideds." Hoyer's undeclared "yes" votes are presumably among those 45.

Click here for NPR's coverage of the health care debate and the push to a vote on Sunday. And NPR's health blog, Shots, is following the story as well.

Scott's conversation with Hoyer will be posted here later.

Update at 8:45 a.m., March 21: The stage is set for a vote in the House late this afternoon or tonight.

Update at 8 a.m. ET, March 21. Here is the interview:

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