WASHINGTON (CNN) – In a wide-ranging interview set to air Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi predicted success in her chamber on health care reform legislation.
“We believe that we have a good bill,” Pelosi tells CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.
“This isn’t about rushing,” the leading Democrat says amid criticism from Republicans that her party is trying to rush through massive changes to a sector that makes up a sixth of the U.S. economy.
Related: GOP ratchets up health care reform debate
Pelosi also tells King that two of the three House committees with jurisdiction over the reform legislation have already reported out a bill. Some Democrats are taking issue with the inclusion of a public insurance option in the legislation. But, Pelosi notes, the public option has “overwhelming support” of the House Democratic Caucus as a whole.
Related: House Democrats splinter over health care
“It’s the Speaker’s job sometimes,” King told Pelosi, “to referee disputes within the family. Are you worried your family is coming apart on this and that you might not have the votes on the floor?”
“Absolutely, positively not,” Pelosi responded. “When I take this bill to the floor, it will win.”
Pelosi also weighed in on the recent controversy surrounding the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Junior, calling it “an unfortunate incident.”
She said, “With all due respect to the police officer involved, and the professor, who was affected by it, it didn’t turn out the way it should have.”
Pelosi also refused to be critical of President Obama who initially said during a primetime press conference Wednesday that the police who arrested Gates had “acted stupidly.”
“I think that the president of the United States has great respect for those who - public safety is our first responsibility as elected officials, public safety and the national security of our country,” Pelosi said of Obama. “Nobody carries that burden greater - in a greater way than the president of the United States,” the Speaker added.
Obama made a surprise appearance at Friday’s White House press briefing to address the burgeoning firestorm surrounding his initial reaction to the Gates arrest.
Related: I didn't mean to slight Cambridge policy, Obama says
The president acknowledged that his words "helped to contribute to ratcheting" up the situation when he criticized the manner in which Sgt. James Crowley arrested Gates.
"I unfortunately gave an impression that I was maligning the Cambridge Police Department or Sgt. Crowley specifically," Obama told reporters. "I could have calibrated those words differently, and I told this to Sgt. Crowley."
I know Pelosi is the "HOUSE SPEAKER" but could she just not speak....just get 'er done!
How has the economy fared since Pelosi and the dems took over congress in 2006?
She's been a bitterly partisan disaster!
well I hope it doesn't win...this should be at a state level. This power crazy broad doesn't even begin to know what it is like to be unemployed, on food stamps, and fixing to loose both because the money is gone...
By the way, what is in this health care "deal" does anyone know?
Pelosi is beyond lucky that she represents the most liberal city in the entire U.S. In any other city, she'd have been thrown out of Congress long ago.
Nancy, were you briefed on the contents of the health care package?
Guess so, Botox Pelosi never met an entitlement or tax increase she didn't love.
Bye-bye in 2010.
The public health option has overwhelming support from me, my family and my colleagues as well, and I am firmly convinced that any legislator who does nor support it is pandering to special interests. The public health option IS the reform – without it, we have nothing more than another patient bill of rights that won't do a thing to seriously lower costs and offer the American people choice. I'm sometimes frustrated with Speaker Pelosi, but this time out, I support her efforts 100%. Keep at it and let's get it done!
pelosi another idiot that does nt read bills they try to pass. this bill will fail..shes just another liberal control freak..why should she be trusted, she didnt even know the price of gasoline when she was on lthe larry king show
She is clueless. The wheels are coming off this thing as voters discover there is nothing in this for them. If you have health insurance of some type or form now and according to the congressional budget office 97% have this or CHOOSE not to (such as the wealthy, healthy, single, etc). Anyway if you have coverage there is NOTHING in this bill that helps you. A government option is not projected to be cheaper and especially not better. As more Americans discover this they are asking why are we spending trillions of $ on 3% of the population. Where's the crisis?
The "crisis" may be cost, I hate my insurance going up 10-20%, but this bill has nothing in it that will change that. Its actually projected to quicken the pace of increasing costs.
Just sau NO!
Fact of the matter is that Democrats have no excuses for not getting this done. They have a 60/40, fillibuster proof, majority in the Senate. They also have full control of the House. Instead Democrats quibble over their own self-interests, and the insurance companies are lining their pockets.
you are doing a great job Nancy !!
I just hope as John King continues as CNN's Sunday morning anchor that he asks more follow-up questions when he gets into segments on important issues like healthcare. Too many times, segments are so short, and the typical liberal/conservative pundit set-up leaves John just asking one question that is spun. We need to see John stay on a question hard to true answer or push the guest to stop dodging!
Dream on Nancy! Keep on dreaming! Your own state of California is BANKCRUPT because of people like you; now you want to banckrupt too United States of America. Whoever voted for Nancy Pelosi is an IDIOT!
From the get go I had hope that this administration would bring a change that we could believe in. Instead Speaker Pelosi has done nothing different except to send the system into hyperspeed bush. There is something inheriently wrong here Mrs Speaker in 6 months you have lied to us about waterboarding and the CIA you have sent through a stimulas bill which you said was an emergency and come to find out that this wont even be paid out until 2010 what was the rush? You then pushed through a cap an trade in the middle of the night adding 300 pages and now you are going to do the same Mrs Pelosi with healthcare. Where is the bipartian change you promiced. You Mrs Pelosi are treading on thin ice.
You liberal democrats are so funny. You have no idea that it is the conservatives in your own party that are blocking the President's horrible plan. Why aren't you asking where their alternative plan is. Republicans really don't have to "prove" themselves right now. Democrats will splinter, like they are now doing, and won't get anything done, just like they always do when they get into power. It is funny that you still try and blame Republicans when you have huge majorities in both houses of congress and still can't pass anything because of your own party infighting. Talk about pathetic, Obama can't even keep his own party on his side.
I'm glad to hear the public option is still in the bill. That is what will make the insurance companies lower their rates. Good competition.
Sorry Republicans. Looks like you'll have to get your pockets padded somewhere else.
I really do appreciate the democrats standing their ground and keeping the Public option in the Healthcare Bill. This is the only way that Health Insurance companines can be in check! I work for one and I know what am talking about.
It is time to have a serious debate on this and it ought to be carried on C-Span, so that we can all see the arguments from both sides and finally hold our elected representatives accountable. Americans are ready for this, and we cannot be lied to by big business anymore.
Keep your eyes on the peize my fellow citizens!
Democrats, put the public health insurance option up for a vote in Congress. The public wants an alternative to the bloodsucking HMOs.
Paying slightly higher taxes for the public health insurance option is cheaper than filing bankruptcy because the HMO canceled your policy during your hospital stay.
I still cannot believe that some Democrats don't support even a basic public insurance option. What about the working poor? What about those people laid off from jobs that were shipped overseas, and now are too old to get health insurance with a halfway affordable monthly payment? It's crazy to punish these people when they've worked honorably all their lives.
At the very least, the government should subsidize private insurance for them.
The stakes could not be higher; I hope Americans will remember and reward those who fought for Health Care Reform at the ballot box.
I also hope they will punish severely, those who stood in the way, or said NO, or tried to "break the President" without offering a single plan of their own.
The republithugs need to be driven from office; this once was the party of Lincoln; it is now the party of Ensign, Vitter, Sandford, DeMint, Inhofe, Foley, Crist, Jindal, Palin, Rove, Bachmann, Romney, Huckabee, Boehner and Cantor; what an unholy pack of hyenas they are
If this is not rushing then I'm 1000 years old which is just about as believeable as Peloski. Only the far left and those who see free support this gov. controlled health disaster.
I'm about sick of Pelosi's arrogance....Nancy, have you read the bill, line for line? Do you even know what you're promoting? If you did know it line for line then I can guarantee you'd be embarassed, not promoting it. How heck can you possibly keep your job while being so out of touch with the "people"?
DOES ANYONE IN THE U.S. KNOW WHAT'S IN THE HEALTHCARE BILL? Where's this transparency we're supposed to all be seeing?
The government is supposed to be "for the people" – why is it that every single poll, everywhere, all over all news medias, comes back the same: Americans don't want this, we didn't want the bailuts, we didn't want the stimulus, we didn't want our government to own our car companies – well, guess what...no need to fret, this current Administration knows what's best for us!
Due to the complete lack of Presedential leadership and the incompotence of Pelosi, Reid, Baccus and Waxman health care reform is done, put a fork in it. Anyone who can follow the polls has seen the steady decline in public support for Obamacare and the 5 week recess will definately bury it once Congress gets back to their districts and starts hearing from their constituents. Too much, too fast, too arrogant (that would be Obama).
God Bless you Speaker Pelosi.
Nancy must be removed from the post of Speaker of the House. Many Republicans voted for our President because they believed in his promise of bringing the country together. Nancy, and her counterpart in the Senate, Harry Reid, have only made the partisanship worse and made things worse. Let a Blue Dog be made Speaker and then we can truly see some serious movement into the future.
Let's hope it is a good bill too and not a charade, watered down by people whose insurance/health care is provided by the American taxpayer. Blue dogs die.