Today the house passed an historic health care reform bill.
The roll-call vote is right here.
The debate was fluid during the day. At one point Bart Stupak (D-MI) pushed through an amendment that will ban a public option from paying for abortions. This is clearly an anti-choice amendment (after all private insurance companies routinely cover abortion) but it also had the effect of forcing Stupak and several other anti-choice Democrats to support the bill once the amendment was included and counting the votes at that moment Pelosi pounced and pushed for a vote on the whole bill.
The vote was 220-215 in favor of the bill. However, as Lyndon Johnson once said he liked winning with small margins because then he knew he'd gotten everything out of it that he could. Pelosi got the votes of 219 Democrats, one more than she needed, and an unexpected gift-- one Republican who braved the wrath of John Boehner and voted for the bill (Anh Cao, R-LA, who represents an overwhelmingly Democratic district and got elected at all last year mainly because his opponent was corrupt congressman Willie 'cold cash' Jefferson.) After voting with the party line on the stimulus as Boehner tried to prevent any display at all of bipartisanship, apparently being asked to go against the wishes of his constituents again was too much for Cao.
I'm not thrilled with the Stupak amendment, but strategically it makes sense-- given the closeness of the vote it is entirely possible that the whole vote could have failed without Stupak and his compatriots. And as the debate moves forward to the much tougher Senate phase at least the Stupak amendment cuts off one line of attack for the right.
However, all in all, this is a good day.