Heat roasting Nye on health care


by Patrick Terpstra, 13News | On Twitter: @patrickterpstra


Posted on March 19, 2010 at 4:23 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 19 at 6:12 PM

WASHINGTON -- Yes, he really is undecided on health care.

Rep. Glenn Nye (D-2nd District) said Friday afternoon he has a lot to weigh between now and Sunday when the House votes on President Barack Obama's signature agenda item.

"I want to make sure this is right reform," Nye said in an interview in his Washington office. "I want to make sure this reform gets health care costs down and protects children's hospitals and protects TRICARE."

He's under a steady barrage of calls from both sides of the health care debate.

Television ads from special interest groups hope to shove him off the fence.

"There's a tug of war for Glenn Nye's soul on the issue of health care," Regent University School of Government professor Charles Dunn said.

Nye voted against health care reform in November, but that was when Democrats had a clear majority in favor of the plan.  Now, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is in a marathon push to reach 216 votes needed to pass the bill.

If Nye votes for it, he risks alienating conservatives in Virginia's moderate second district; if he votes against it, he alienates his base, though he would still have support among Democratic party leaders locally.

"I'm going to be very enthusiastic about congressman Nye he's doing a good job in a difficult year," Virginia Beach Democratic party chairwoman Susan Mariner said. "We are convinced it will pass and we will still continue to support Congressman Nye."