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Pelosi celebrates Supreme Court ruling on 'ironclad' healthcare law

June 28, 2012|By Richard Simon
  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) relays the breaking news to her staff that the Supreme Court had just upheld the Affordable Care Act.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) relays the breaking news… (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated…)

WASHINGTON – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, the former speaker whose Democratic Party lost control of the chamber after she pushed through the healthcare overhaul, took delight Thursday  in the Supreme Court ruling upholding the law.

“Sweetie, we won!” the San Francisco lawmaker said in a call to her husband Paul.

Pelosi, whose support for the healthcare overhaul  made her a favorite Republican target in the 2010 election campaign, was in a meeting when she heard word of the ruling.

After leaving phone messages for President Obama and Vice President Biden, she reached Vicki Kennedy, whose husband, the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), championed healthcare. 

“Now, Teddy can rest,” she told her.

Pelosi wore her “lucky” purple pumps, the same shoes she wore the day the healthcare overhaul passed, according to an aide.

As the first woman speaker of the House, Pelosi overcame skepticism within her own party to win passage of the overhaul, pushing the White House to go with a broader bill rather than a scaled-back version.  She then pushed the healthcare bill through the chamber  in 2010. In no time, Republicans were attacking it as “Pelosi’s government takeover of healthcare” in a fundraising appeals.

On Thursday, heading to a hastily called Democratic Caucus meeting to discuss the decision, she ran into a longtime friend, Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez), and they hugged, according to an aide.

“What a great victory!” Pelosi said.

“You bet your ass,” Miller responded. 

“I did,” she said, as they laughed.

Pelosi had earlier predicted the court would uphold the law.

“I know the Constitution – this bill is ironclad,” she said.  “It is ironclad.”

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