Hoyer: Senate bill 'better than nothing'
Tuesday, January 19, 2010; 3:41 PM
By Lori Montgomery The number-two Democrat in the House said Tuesday that the Senate's version of health care legislation is "better than nothing," and that Democrats are determined to advance some form of their health overhaul regardless of what happens in Massachusetts, where a special election could hand Republicans a crucial 41st Senate seat. Speaking to reporters at his weekly briefing, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) repeatedly ducked questions about the House strategy on health care if Republican Scott Brown upsets Democrat Martha Coakley in the race for the late Edward M. Kennedy's Senate seat, a possibility that would give Republicans the power to block another vote on health care in the chamber. The White House is pressing House leaders to simply adopt the bill approved by the Senate, a move that would allow health legislation to pass without another Senate vote. Hoyer declined to say whether House Democrats