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Congress: You had me at hello

"Centrist Democrats in the House are moving toward the "yes" column on healthcare reform, triggering optimism among leadership officials that they will soon have the votes to pass their $894-billion measure," The Hill writes. "Other than Rep. Earl Pomeroy's (D-N.D.) pronouncement in a closed-door caucus meeting, there have been few public conversions. But many of those once considered 'no' votes, especially on the question of a 'robust' public option, have moved into undecided, "leaning yes," or are fully supporting the bill."

That said… "Still, leaders on Monday didn't have the firm 218 votes in the Democratic Caucus that they will need before they're willing to go to a vote on the final legislation. That bill, called a 'manager's amendment,' could be released Tuesday, setting the stage for a vote that could occur as early as Friday."

"Sen. Joe Lieberman has reached a private understanding with Majority Leader Harry Reid that he will not block a final vote on healthcare reform, according to two sources briefed on the matter… [S]ources said Reid's staff is telling liberal interest groups that Lieberman (Conn.) has assured Reid he will vote with Democrats in the necessary procedural vote to end debate, perhaps with intentions to change the bill."

Lieberman's office is pushing back against the story.

Also, don't miss Rep. John Dingell's (D) op-ed in support of the House health-care bill. "Reform is neither easy nor cheap, but the cost of inaction is far greater – in terms of lives lost, quality of life, and dollars. Make no mistake, if we don't reduce costs we face certain economic disaster. My father was one of the first members of Congress to fight to change the private insurance system in place today. His fight began in 1943, 66 years ago. If we go another 66 years with costs continuing to rise at the same rate they have over the last three decades, estimates project health care spending to approach 100 percent of our GDP. This is simply not sustainable."