From Sunlen Miller:
“This is what change looks like,” President Obama said appearing just before midnight after the health care bill passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 219 to 212.
“Tonight at a time when the pundits said it was no longer possible, we rose above the weight of our politics.”
Standing with Vice President Biden in the East Room of the White House the president said that the vote tonight proved “that we are still a people capable of doing big things.”
Calling the vote “momentous,” the president thanked those members of Congress who stood up with “courage and conviction” admitting that he knows that it was not an “easy vote" for many members.
“Tonight’s vote is not a victory for any one party,” Obama said. “It’s a victory for the American people and it’s a victory for common sense.”
Obama predicted that the vote tonight will “give rise to a frenzy of instant analysis,” but cautioned that it is more than poll numbers and winners and losers: It’s about a “system that works better for the American people.”
The president warned that this legislation will not fix everything in the health care system, but said that it moves the nation in the right direction.
“This isn’t radical reform, but it is major reform,” he said.
The journey still goes on, the president said, referring to the Senate on Tuesday taking up the revisions that the House has embraced.
“Some have predicted another siege of parliamentary maneuvering in order to delay adoption,” Obama said. “I hope that’s not the case.”
He called for the overhaul bill to be implemented properly.
“We march on with renewed confidence, energized by this victory,” Obama said. “In the end, what this day represents is another stone firmly laid in the foundation of the American dream. Tonight we answer the call of history as so many generations of Americans have before.”
-- Sunlen Miller