"We Have The Votes"

While the talk in the halls of the Capitol in recent days has been about whether or not Democrats can strike a deal soon on a health care bill, there was almost a guarantee of victory from Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday.

"I have no question that we have the votes on the floor of the House to pass this legislation," the Speaker said at a news conference.

What really made that statement seem sort of out of place was that about a half hour earlier, the lead negotiator for the Blue Dogs had issued a written statement on health care negotiations.

"We are making progress," said Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR).

"However, we have a long way to go."

Even though things don't look great right now, it's quite possible Pelosi could have 218 votes by late next week if things go in the right direction.

But for now, negotiations on health reform don't seem to be producing any momentum in the House and Senate.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee won't even be back at work today on its public drafting of a health care bill, after taking two days off to allow for negotiations, they will be off again today.

That's not exactly sending a message that a deal is close.

Just a few of the headlines this morning from Capitol Hill publications tell the story at this point:

"House Health Care Deal Still Elusive," says Roll Call, which has another story about Democrats getting frustrated with bipartisan Senate talks.

Today and Friday will tell us a lot about where this issue is going.