Today on This Week, host Elizabeth Vargas and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had the following exchange about passing health care reform:
VARGAS: ... What do you say to your members, when it does come to the House to vote on this, who are in real fear of losing their seats in November if they support you now?
PELOSI: Well first of all our members -- every one of them -- wants health care. I think everybody wants affordable health care for all Americans. They know that this will take courage. It took courage to pass Social Security. It took courage to pass Medicare. And many of the same forces that were at work decades ago are at work again against this bill.
But the American people need it, why are we here? We're not here just to self perpetuate our service in Congress. We're here to do the job for the American people. To get them results that gives them not only health security, but economic security, because the health issue is an economic issue for -- for America's families.
I think Pelosi has a good point. Ideally members of Congress should be about more than just getting themselves re-elected. The problem is that it’s very easy for Pelosi to say this: she has been in the House since 1987 and took 71.9% of the vote in the 2008 elections. So I wonder if she’d be willing to take the same stand if there was any chance she’d lose re-election this November, if it was her service in Congress that was in danger of not being perpetuated.
Here’s my proposal: Nancy Pelosi should tell her fellow House Democrats that if the House passes a health reform bill and the Democrats lose their majority in the House, she’ll resign. From the House.