Former GOP Leader Armey Predicts Health Bill Will Pass

A Republican leader is expressing some sentiment that the bill cannot be stopped, The Associated Press reports. "Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, among the bill's sharpest opponents, said he was 'less confident' than before that it could be stopped. 'They'd have to be remarkable people not to fall under the kind of pressure they'll be under,' DeMint said of rank-and-file Democrats." (Espo, 3/16).

Dick Armey, a former Republican House majority leader and one of the leaders of the Tea Party movement, said Monday "that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is 'inept' but that Congress would likely still pass health care reform," ABC News reports. "'They'll probably force this through,' he said. 'But you can't discount the number of people who can be moved by a ruthless and powerful political leader or group of political leaders.'" Armey "had harsh [words] for the rest of Congress – the 'self-serving' people he suggests are equally to blame for the passage of health care legislation" (Loffman, 3/15).

Meanwhile, New York "Congressional candidate Tom Reed is calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to delay the vote on a healthcare plan until after special elections have been held to fill vacant House of Representatives seats in Florida, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, and in New York’s 29th Congressional District," according to the Elmira Star-Gazette. Reed, a Republican, is running to fill the seat left vacant by Rep. Eric Massa, D-N.Y., who resigned last week. "'Collectively, these districts represent more than two and one half million people,' Reed said. 'To disenfranchise these people on one of the most important votes of this Congress is wrong'" (3/15).

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