Republican Congressman Nathan Deal of Georgia announced last week that he would resign from the House on March 8, to devote his time to running for governor. His departure would have meant that House Democrats only needed 216 votes, rather than 217, to pass their health-care bill. But Deal has just announced that he has decided to stay in Congress until the end of the month, which would be after the Democrats’ self-imposed deadline for passing the bill (and would take them into the Easter recess, when members must again confront constituents, and which Speaker Pelosi therefore very much wants to avoid). He was not coy about the reason for his decision:
“Yesterday, as I listened to President Obama’s aggressive push for a quick vote on ‘Obama-Care,’ it was clear that I must stay in Congress and continue to fight against the most liberal health care agenda ever proposed.”
That makes Pelosi’s job just a little bit harder.