Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Senate candidate Pat Toomey says the Massachusetts special election may have broken the back of President Obama’s attempt to overhaul health care.
The election of Scott Brown gives Senate Republicans 41 seats, just enough to filibuster a vote on the health care bill.
The measure could still become law if the House accepts a version passed by the Senate in December, but Toomey doesn’t think that will happen.
"I don’t think they have the votes to pass something along the lines of what has passed the House or the version that passed the Senate. I don’t think either one could pass either body right now, because I think the Democrats themselves are just not going to be willing to walk off that plank for the liberal wing of their party that wants them to."
Exit polls showed many Massachusetts voters supported Brown because they don’t like the health care legislation, and Toomey predicts Democrats will reconsider their agenda after the rebuke from a traditionally solid liberal state.
Democratic Senate candidate Joe Sestak concedes the election “seriously jeopardizes” the initiative. Before the results were in, incumbent Arlen Specter’s office told the Allentown Morning Call a Brown win would “change the focus,” but that they weren’t concerned about the bill’s future.