The first fallout from the Democrats' electoral setbacks in New Jersey and Virginia may land later this week as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decides whether to press forward on bringing the current healthcare reform bill to the House floor for a vote.
On Tuesday The Associated Press reported "The healthcare bill headed for a vote in the House this week costs $1.2 trillion or more."
Some observers believe Pelosi may now reconsider.
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Wall Street Journal columnist and author John Fund told Newsmax that "there will be tremendous pressure from [conservative Democratic] blue dogs" to put off the vote.
Conservative Democrats have watched nervously as the cost of the House bill has ballooned from Pelosi's initial figure of $894 billion, to the $1.2 trillion estimate now projected by congressional budget experts.
Fox News contributor and author Dick Morris told Newsmax that GOP victories in the two major states will "send a message" to an estimated 83 Democratic representatives, and more than 20 Democratic senators, who represent conservative states.
"And that message is you cannot count on Obama to carry you through," Morris says. "If you vote for a healthcare proposal that people don't like, you are on your own."
If so, it is another complication for a presidential legislative timetable that increasingly appears to be slipping. President Barack Obama has repeatedly promised to complete a healthcare reform deal by year's end.
"I am absolutely confident that we are going to get healthcare done by the end of this year, and Nancy Pelosi is just as confident," Obama said on Oct. 27.
Despite Pelosi's ambitious expectations, it is becoming increasingly clear the reform bill won't meet Obama's end-of-year deadline.
According to an ABC News report on Tuesday, senior congressional Democrats are now saying it is "highly unlikely" a bill will be completed in 2009. And that news came before election results began streaming in from Virginia and New Jersey.
According to the network, two Democratic congressman and a top key Democratic aide indicated: "Getting this done by the end of the year is a no-go."
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