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Health Care Bill's Abortion Amendment; House Votes on Health Care; Fort Hood Massacre Update

Aired November 07, 2009 - 22:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. I'm Don Lemon live at the CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta. You see our guys there in Washington - Brianna Keilar, Elaine Quijano. We're watching this.

Listen, we're going to go completely unscripted tonight because we're not exactly sure of the timing of this vote. We know now that this health care reform bill is about to go for a vote in the House of Representatives now. The president came out today saying this is going to be history in the making. We heard that.

You see the Capitol there, you see the White House, and you see the vote tally. This is the president earlier today. He actually went to Capitol Hill today to try to rally up support, drum up some support from Democrats. Not going to get any from Republicans, we know that. This is going to be voted, you can bet, on party lines.

So as we wait here, we're going to get to Brianna and we're going to get to Elaine in just a moment. Hey, let's show them what they're going to be seeing here. Let's show them the billboard. So as you look, this is what you're going to see as they start to vote on this - Democrat, you see that "yea," right? Republican "nay," Democrat "nay," whatever - what have you. That's where you're going to see the vote and we're going to try to highlight it for you, Roger (ph), if we can so that the viewers know exactly what's going on.

And, again, we know they've been debating. There was - there was a bit of a delay, but it should happen at any time. As we look at this and talk about it, I want you to hear what the president had to say today, because a lot of people are saying it was a bit risky for him to come out and say that in the Rose Garden after he went to - to Capitol Hill today to try to drum up support.

He said that it was going to be history in the making. He thought this thing was going to pass. So let's listen to him and then we'll bring in Brianna and Elaine.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: For a better part of a year now, members of the House and the Senate have been working diligently and constructively to craft legislation that will benefit millions of American families and millions of American businesses who urgently need it.

For the first time ever, they've passed bills through every single committee responsible for reform. They've brought us closer than we have ever been to passing health insurance reform on behalf of the American people.

Now is the time to finish the job. The bill that the House has produced will provide stability and security for Americans who have insurance, quality, affordable options for those who don't, and lower costs for American families and American businesses. And as I've insisted from the beginning, it is a bill that is fully paid for and will actually reduce our long-term federal deficit.


LEMON: Okay. The president in the Rose Garden earlier today. And I want to show you, just to give you a little bit of a breakdown - where are my glasses? - breakdown what's going to happen here - what's happening right now. This isn't the actual vote.

This is the Stupak, Ellsworth, Pitts, Smith, Kaptur, Dahlkemper Amendment, which prohibits federal funds for abortion, services and public option, prohibits individuals who receive affordable credits from purchasing a plan that provides elective abortions. So this is the abortion part of it. So as we wait for the vote on the actual bill, let's bring in now, again, our players here - Brianna and Elaine.

And so the action is happening right now where Brianna is and I'll talk to Elaine about what the president said. So, Brianna, take us inside. What's going on?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you said, Don, this is not the vote on the actual health care bill, but it's still a pretty significant vote. This is a vote that conservative Democrat Bart Stupak of Michigan - that's who that is - this is a vote that conservative Democrats really fought hard to get, and they brokered a deal late last night with Democratic leaders that allows them to put in some tougher abortion language into this health care reform bill.

Some of them said this has to pass or they're not going to vote for the bill, and some of the members like Bart Stupak just said, "I want a vote on this. I really want to be able to have my say on this and to have members be able to have their say on this, so that I can move forward with the - this health care reform bill."

So this is something that they got. This is a vote that made a lot of liberal Democrats upset, but what we're expecting is that a lot of Republicans are going to band together on this with these conservative Democrats and that this is going to pass, tightening that abortion language.

But what we're really waiting for now is - and we're expecting this - probably later in the hour here is that final vote on the - on the health care bill. It breaks down like this, Democrats are not relying on Republican support, but they're also having a little trouble with Democrats themselves. Hey have 258 Democrats in the House of Representatives. They need to hang on to 218 of them, Don, and they're expecting this to be a squeaker. LEMON: And, Brianna, here's the thing, you were saying that, you know, they - they need to hang on to those Democratic votes, which was one reason that the president came out today. And, again, I want to say, this is not it - Brianna - as Brianna explained, this is an amendment. This is not the big vote yet, so stand by. That is going to happen, and, again, you're going to see it live here on CNN.

So, Brianna, that's going to be a minute before we do that. But, the House Speaker actually spoke out today and you talked about that earlier, and you - I'm not sure if you saw it if you're watching from the gallery. Brianna, do you want to hear from her and then we can talk about it?




REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), HOUSE SPEAKER: For generations, the American people have called for affordable, quality health care for their families. Today, the call will be answered. Today we will pass the Affordable Health Care for America Act.

This legislation is founded on key principles for a healthy America - innovation, competition, and prevention. It improves quality, lowers cost, expands coverage to 36 million more people and retains choices.


LEMON: Brianna, guess what we call this, this is an old-fashioned get out the vote campaign.

KEILAR: Get out the vote campaign, but also that is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi going out on a bit of a limb saying, we will pass this tonight. So even though we've told you this is going to be a squeaker, that is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying that we are going to have the votes for this when it comes down to it, Don.

LEMON: And just within the last, what, 10, 15 minutes or so, we heard from John Boehner, the opposition here, Brianna. Let's talk - let's listen to him and then we can talk about that as well.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), MINORITY LEADER: We have an individual mandate in this bill in front of us that says every American is going to buy health insurance, whether you want it or not. And if you don't - if you don't want it, you're going to pay a tax. And if you don't pay the tax - listen to this - if you don't pay the tax, you're going to be subject to a fine of up to $250,000 and imprisonment up to five years.

Now this is a most unconstitutional thing I've ever seen in my life. The idea that you - we can tell Americans, force Americans by some law that they have to buy health insurance or we're going to fine you and send you to jail.


LEMON: Brianna, go. What is he saying?

KEILAR: Well, and certainly Democrats, Don, are going to take some issue with what - with what Minority Leader John Boehner is saying there. But this is what we have been hearing from Republicans all night long. They have been sticking to a closed script, and they're very united in their opposition to this bill. They think it's a bad idea. They say it's going to add to the deficit. They say that it's going to make the government much more involved in health care in a way that they think is a very, very bad way.

And on the - on the flip side, you have Democrats saying this is a historic moment when we pass - when Congress passed Social Security, when Congress passed Medicare, there was a lot of opposition to that as well, but it was something...


KEILAR: ... that needed to be done. And we should also point out, there is a possibility that Republicans may lose one of their own in this. Joseph Cao, from the New Orleans area, a Republican who replaced, of course, that Democrat Congressman William Jefferson who was facing, you know, charges for - corruption-related charges.

He represents a pretty Democratic area and we're expecting now that he is going to have this vote, assuming this passes, this tightened abortion language that Congressman Cao he may vote with Democrats on this. And so after a few days here of Republicans saying they're going to hold their ranks together, there is a possibility it seems that they may have a defection.

LEMON: OK. Brianna, just looking at sort of your feedback now because a lot of people are weighing in, happy that we're carrying this live, because they do want to see it.

Brianna, this is your - Elaine, I know you're standing by. We're going to get to you. No worries. So hang on just a little bit. We want to remind our folks that Elaine Quijano has been at the White House all day. She's at - in our Washington Bureau now. We're going to get to Elaine in just a little bit to talk about what this means for the president.

But, Brianna, this is your beat, so I want you to explain to our viewers so that there's no confusion about what is happening right now. This is Stupak of Michigan Amendment that they're voting on, not the big deal here.

KEILAR: That's right. And we're going to be following a few of these votes before we get to final - the vote on the actual bill, Don. So we'll be keeping you on this on exactly what we're looking at.

LEMON: OK. Stand by, Brianna, because we're going to talk about Congressman John Dingell who joined us here earlier and got a standing ovation tonight on the House Floor as he spoke. And he said he's going to be the last one to vote on this bill. We're going to get back to Brianna. She's there watching this for us.

And so, now, let's go to Elaine Quijano. Elaine, the president came out today, as we said, it was an old-fashioned get out the vote campaign, it appears, between he and the House Speaker. Is his credibility on the line?

ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, people will certainly be watching to see whether or not his presence on the Hill today was enough to get the job done, to get those votes that the Democrats need to pass this legislation in the House. I can tell you, Don, tonight the president is at Camp David, and aides say that he's hopeful Congress will rise to what the president sees as a historic moment.

We've been talking about that all day long. The political stakes are sky high here for President Obama. A health care bill, as you know, is his number one domestic priority. That's why he made that rare Saturday trip this morning to Capitol Hill. And he tried to press his fellow Democrats in person to get legislation passed in the House. The president and his aides have also been working on the phones today, this afternoon in the Rose Garden. The president also tried to cast this issue in historic terms. Take a listen.


OBAMA: This is our moment to live up to the trust that the American people have placed in us, even when it's hard, especially when it's hard. This is our moment to deliver.

I urge members of Congress to rise to this moment, answer the call of history, and vote yes for health insurance reform for America.


QUIJANO: So that's basically the message that he told House Democrats behind closed doors today. He said that opportunities like this come around maybe once in a generation, and, Don, he urged his fellow Democrats to seize this opportunity.

LEMON: Elaine, I was listening to you as I was out and about today, going to lunch or something. I was listening to you on satellite radio and I think at the end of the president's speech in the Rose Garden or comments in the Rose Garden, there was a question thrown at him and you were trying to explain it. But I'm not sure what the question was and he did not answer it, did he?

QUIJANO: He didn't. The question was basically, are you disappointed, Mr. President, that you didn't get Republican support behind this bill? You remember all along here, the White House had said from the outset it wanted very much to be able to have a bipartisan bill. But it became apparent, as you know early on, that it just wasn't going to happen. And what the White House has said is that, look, of course, the president and his aides would very much like to have some Republicans on board. But at the same time, they say it takes two to tango here. While the Republicans may not like everything that's in this bill, what the White House has said all along is, look, then go ahead and work with us on the things that we can agree on and let's go from there. What they have said is that the Republicans continue to be the party of no on this, that it's the Republicans who essentially are blocking any kind of overhaul effort here. And we saw today, Brianna's reports all day long that, in fact, Republicans are united, but they are united in their opposition to this bill.

LEMON: Thank you, Elaine. Our Brianna Keilar is there. Elaine Quijano is there. Is - do we have Brianna? She's still standing by? I just have a quick question for her before we go to break.

Hey, Brianna, do you have any idea - how long do you think before we get to the actual? It's going to be a little bit, right? So we have time to go to break here and then come back?

KEILAR: Definitely.

LEMON: OK. So we're going to continue to talk to Elaine and Brianna and some other folks we have there on Capitol Hill, some guests as well. Some lawmakers are going to be joining us, some Congressmen, and so you want to stick around. We're waiting for the House vote on the health care reform bill - the Democrats' health care reform bill. You're watching it live.

Meantime, we have another very big story to tell you about tonight. New information about the condition of the accused Fort Hood shooter, Major Nidal Malik Hasan. Plus his relationship with neighbors in the days leading up to that shooting. They are talking to CNN.

And as we carry this live, we're completely unscripted tonight. We want your comments, of course, on Twitter, on Facebook and on iReport. Send us - send them to us. Send us your comments and we'll get them on tonight. We're back in just moments live carrying the vote.


LEMON: OK. So there you're looking at the House Floor live, and we're expecting the vote to happen any moment now. Again, this is - they're voting on an amendment that is - has to do with abortion. It's the Stupak Amendment. So, this isn't the big vote yet. So, just so you know, and we're going to carry it here live. You're going to see it here live.

And we want to - we want to point out here that this is just sort of an estimate of how they're voting. This doesn't - it's not official until they pound the gavel. So this is just sort of - this may lag a little bit, but it gives you an idea of how the Congressmen, the Representatives are voting on this issue. So, again, not official until they pound the gavel.

Hello, Elaine Quijano, standing by at the White House. And, of course, again, we have our Brianna Keilar. She is on Capitol Hill. She's going to join us in just a little bit. She went off to grab some information here to see what's - to check it out for us to give us the latest information.

So Elaine, here's the interesting thing, you know, get out the vote, get out the vote. Let's do it. Let's do it. Let's do it. Are you having any e-mails returned from anyone in the administration tonight?

QUIJANO: You know, it's so interesting, Don. Right around 7:30 or 8:00 or so, it's sort of been radio silence. We've been in communication all day long with officials from the administration, you know, as the president was traveling to Capitol Hill, afterwards as well and I was just trying to get some details basically on how the president's being updated. But it's interesting, the e-mail trickle has sort of stopped right now. I'm not sure what that means.

LEMON: Slower than the usual Saturday night?

QUIJANO: (INAUDIBLE) what you've seen on a Saturday night, yes. But it is a big night for the president as we've been talking about all day long. You know, the political stakes, we cannot underscore enough just how high they are.

Keep in mind, you know, critics are really looking at this as a test. Is this president, who has been in office less than a year now, is he going to have the power really to rally the troops to get all of these House Democrats - the necessary votes that the House Democrats need here to get this done? Are those votes going to be there after this really rare appearance on Capitol Hill on a Saturday? It's a lot of political capital that he's expending right now.

LEMON: Yes. He's on Capitol Hill on a Saturday. He's also speaking in the Rose Garden. Very confident. Some say it was premature here and that it may have been, you know, sort of a spoiler. But we'll - we'll see, we'll see. We don't know.

You know, I have to ask you this, he's at Camp David right now so...


LEMON: ... if this does happen - well, it's going to happen, but whether it passes or fails, whatever the outcome is here, what's going to be the response? Are we going to hear from the president tonight?

QUIJANO: Yes. You know, I don't know that we'll actually hear from the president tonight. In fact, I think it's very unlikely. He is at Camp David.

LEMON: I don't mean, you know, maybe through a...

QUIJANO: A paper statement perhaps.

LEMON: ... a representative or a paper statement or something, yes.

QUIJANO: Yes. There will likely be some sort of reaction. The question is, you know, how quickly will that happen? I think a lot depends here on what exactly the outcome of the vote is, clearly, but they are monitoring this very closely. Whether or not we might hear the president himself comment on this tomorrow when he comes back to the White House from Camp David, that's certainly an open question as well. But they are, I'm sure, watching with bated breath.

LEMON: Oh, yes.

QUIJANO: I tried to ask an aide earlier tonight, you know, there's some initial reports here that it looks like there - there might be the votes there, what are you hearing? Nothing.

LEMON: Nothing.

QUIJANO: That's about the time that the radio silence started to kick in and...

LEMON: Let's see if someone e-mails you now, maybe they will. Maybe they will

QUIJANO: Let's hope so.

LEMON: I'm checking mine, but, you know, I don't get e-mail from you. I'm not up there. I don't get e-mail from the administration. So, Elaine, would you stand by a little bit?


LEMON: If you get an e-mail, forward it to me. Let's get this back on for you. So stand by a little bit.

Listen, Jonathan Allen is a reporter for Politico and he's joined us tonight. He's also been watching from the gallery. I want to tow our guys to - can we get that - the sound - the standing ovation from John Dingell ready, because I want - I want to talk to Jonathan Allen about it?

So, Jonathan, you were there when John Dingell got the standing ovation. He joined us here live. He said he's been fighting for this for years, really longer than Ted Kennedy and his dad was fighting for this, even before John Dingell Sr. Let's listen to him, Jon Allen, and then we'll - we'll talk about it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I yield the balance of our time, which is at least I think five minutes, to Representative John Dingell from the State of Michigan.


LEMON: Yes. I didn't want to start - So, Jon Allen, I didn't want to start talking over the good part, but it goes on and on and on and on. I'm not sure if you saw this, but why this reception for him?

JONATHAN ALLEN, POLITICO.COM: Well, look, John Dingell is somebody who's respected by his colleagues a lot. It's been a tough year for him. He was stripped of his chairmanship at the Energy and Commerce Committee in a - in a coup by Henry Waxman that was backed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But everybody knows this is the issue that not only has he been working on, but his family has been working on, his father worked on as far back as 1943. Dingell has been in the House since 1955. They made a big effort, the Democratic leadership did, to put him forward in this debate on the Floor, to give him an opportunity to make the final arguments for this bill. And you heard him talk about all of the different pieces of legislation down through the years that Democrats believe have brought fairness and justice and equity to Americans who didn't have as much and they believed that this is another part of that legacy.

LEMON: OK. Hey, so, listen, Jon, we're getting some guidance here in my ear and perhaps you can explain it to me. The Stupak Amendment, we hear it passed 241 to 94. Jon, do you know about this amendment? Can you talk to our viewers about that?

ALLEN: Sure. What this amendment does, and this is very important in the abortion debate, is anti-abortion lawmakers basically got what they want, which is to stop federal funding from being used to subsidize abortions through this new health care system that's being created through various ways. It's very strong language in that direction.

And what is really interesting here politically is this amazingly unorthodox coalition that Nancy Pelosi put together of liberal pro- choice members who want to see this health care bill passed and anti- abortion Democrats and even Republicans, as you see in this vote here, who helped get that done by putting this amendment in.

So you have this speaker who's known as being very liberal, progressive from San Francisco who was able to work with people on the other side, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and even the National Right to Life Committee was threatening Republicans who said they might vote against this amendment and, therefore, the National Right to Life Committee was helping this bill advance along with Nancy Pelosi, a fascinating and an unorthodox political coalition that she put together.

LEMON: OK, Jon. Up next is the Boehner Amendment, in the nature of a substitute, a Republican substitute expands high-risk polls and re- insurance programs and creates association health plans resulting in coverage for additional 3 million Americans and leaving 52 million Americans uninsured and so on and so on. In layman's terms, what's happening? What does this mean, this particular amendment that they're voting on now, Jon Allen?

ALLEN: You probably heard a lot of talk that Republicans don't have a plan. This is the Republicans' plan. It's smaller, less ambitious, would cover fewer people, but it costs a lot less than the Democratic plan. We're talking about tens of billions of dollars instead of the trillion dollar range. Republicans think that small fixes to the health care system right now are a better idea. Obviously, Democrats have gone for the gusto with their larger plan.

The Boehner Substitute Amendment stands no chance of passage, so that will be done within - the only other thing in the way is something called a motion to recommit, and this is an opportunity for Republicans to try to amend the bill one last time. Usually, they'll come up with something clever that's related to immigration or another hot-button issue to try to frustrate the Democrats. That's their last - that will be the last vote that you see before that final passage vote in an - in an hour or so here.

LEMON: OK. Jon Allen, thank you, from Politico. And, Jon, we appreciate it. Jon, stand by. We may be using - getting back to you later.

But here's what we want to say, there's - there's a procedural vote that's going to happen. This one is still being voted on. There's a procedural vote that's going to happen and then they're going to vote on - on the health care reform bill, which is the motion to recommit. They say HR-3962, and the name of the bill is the Affordable Health Care for America Act. They're going to vote on that in just a little bit and we're going to carry it for you live right here on CNN. You will not miss anything.

Some people are e-mailing me saying, Don, explain the pros and cons of this bill. I'm going to leave that up to the representatives and the lawmakers when they come out to explain the pros and cons and we'll just guide them through it. So we appreciate your comments. We're taking them on Twitter tonight and on Facebook. And you can also send us an iReport if you can.

So, listen, there's some other big news as well that we're following out of Fort Hood. We heard that the alleged shooter there is now off of a ventilator, and what does that mean? Is he talking to investigators? And also, we're hearing the names of the all of the victims tonight. So new information at a press conference held a short time ago. We're going to update you on that. And we're standing by live, again, for that vote on the health care bill live on the House floor. We're back in a moment.


LEMON: OK. So listen, we're standing by live here and we're watching the House Floor on the historic health care vote. That's what the administration calls it. That's going to happen in just a moment. So, they've got a couple of procedural things to do. They're voting on some amendments. So it's going to be just a little bit. We're going to bring it to you live.

We have our entire political team helping us out. We've got Brianna Keilar. She's standing by on Capitol Hill. We've got Elaine Quijano who's standing by at our Washington Bureau. And we have our political guru on our team here in Atlanta who happens to be our lead writer, Rob Harbor (ph), who is sitting here helping me, guiding me through all of this and checking the very latest information on this vote. Thank you very much, Rob.

In the meantime, we have some other breaking news. He's breathing on his own now. CNN has learned just a short time ago that Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the man accused of shooting his comrades at Fort Hood, no longer on a ventilator but is still on intensive care. No word yet on when military police will get an opportunity to question him.

In the meantime, they're out of the woods. That's how a surgeon describes the condition of some survivors of the Fort Hood shooting spree. The memorial service for the victims is set for Tuesday. President Obama and the First Lady will be there along with other high-ranking members of the Military and the Fort Hood community. And we're told last night that George - President George H. W. Bush and the Former First Lady Laura Bush also visited Fort Hood as well very quietly.

More now on the man - the man accused of opening fire on his fellow soldiers. CNN's Ted Rowlands files this report for us.


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Investigators say clues as to why 39-year-old Army Psychiatrist Nidal Hasan allegedly went on a shooting rampage are still being gathered. One hundred and seventy witnesses and victims have been interviewed so far. Although they believe he was the only shooter, they wouldn't rule out that Hasan may have had help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All evidence at this point indicates the suspect allegedly acted alone in the actual shootings at the Readiness Center on 5 November.

ROWLANDS: Key to the investigation may be Hasan's computer. At 2:37 Thursday morning, 11 hours before the massacre, Hasan called his next door neighbor, Willie Bell, and left a message asking him to turn on his wireless computer connection. Bell ignored the call, but three hours later, he says Hasan called back.

WILLIE BELL, NIDAL HASAN'S NEIGHBOR: He said, will you please hook up your laptop? I said, wow, you want me to hook up the laptop. So my girlfriend got up and hooked up the laptop, but we didn't answer the phone, he just left a message.

ROWLANDS: Bell also says two weeks before the massacre Hasan locked Bell out of his own wireless connection by changing passwords.

BELL: For the last two weeks, I couldn't even get on the internet myself because I had to go to some kind of code he had dialed in there. And I don't know what he dialed in there, but I couldn't get on it.

ROWLANDS: Bell says he surrendered his own computer to investigators. He says he was also questioned for four hours. Investigators won't comment on whether they've located all of the computers Hasan used. He gave away these computer cases and the rest of his furniture to another neighbor, Patricia Villa (ph), but the only thing inside the computer bags, Via says, were a few of Hasan's business cards.

At 6:30 AM the morning of the shooting, Hasan was seen on this surveillance video at a 7-Eleven buying coffee and hash browns. Later, he was back at the apartment complex. This man, Miguel Rivera (ph), says he saw Hasan throwing things into this dumpster. Investigators hauled the dumpster away Friday morning.

Another potential source of information may be a man that neighbors saw visiting Hasan the day before the rampage. Alice Thompson was inside her apartment when she says she saw Hasan and the other man. Unusual, she says, because he never seemed to have anyone over. She described the other man as wearing Muslim attire, with dark skin and bushy eyebrows, and claims investigators seemed interested in him when she was questioned.

ALICE THOMPSON, NIDAL HASAN'S NEIGHBOR: If you see him again, can you identify him? I said yes.

ROWLANDS: Answers could also, of course, come from Hasan himself. He remains in critical condition at an Army hospital in San Antonio.


LEMON: So there's our Ted Rowlands. He joins us live tonight. Ted, the question is investigators -- they ruled out the possibility that Hasan had any help? Because at first, they thought there were a number of different shooters. Turns out no, is that correct?

ROWLANDS: Yes, and we heard it tonight in the press conference that they held. This was really the first time that we heard from an investigative arm of the Army, and that happened tonight. And they gave -- the headline, of course, was that Hasan's off the ventilator, which you mentioned. They didn't say they'd talked to him yet, but clearly, he is progressing in terms of his recovery. And of course, if he talks, they can fill in a lot of these blanks and figure out exactly why he did it.

But they did say in this press conference that they think that he's the only shooter. However, they did not rule out the fact -- or the possibility that he may have had some sort of either influence or help in carrying out this rampage, something that they're looking into and something his computers may help them with, if he doesn't help them with that when he does get to the spot -- or get to the point where he can talk to them.

LEMON: Ted Rowlands joining us live tonight from Ft. Hood. Ted, we appreciate your reporting. Thank you very much.

We want to tell you that the family of one of the Ft. Hood shooting victims divided, really, in their opinion on his killer. Some members, well, they say forgive and forget, but one says never. Never. He joins us live. We're going to hear from him in just a little bit. So stand by, sir.

And again, we're awaiting the vote on the House's health care bill, the Democrats' health care bill. There you see Republican Eric Cantor of Virginia there, speaking on the floor of the House. You're not going to miss the vote. And we have developing news, as well, from Ft. Hood. You'll see it all live here on CNN tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: OK, let's get you now to the House floor. I want you to listen in just a little bit because, you know, you heard John Allen from Politico saying that this is -- the 10-minute debates -- a 10- minute debate before the motion to recommit, which they're talking about the health care bill here. And this is a portion that he said Republicans may try to throw something in just to have the process go on a little bit longer. Listen in just a little bit, and then I'll be back in a second.

REP. DAVE REICHERT (R), WASHINGTON: In many parts of this country, Medicare Advantage plans are the only way seniors can receive needed care. It's the only way that seniors can choose their doctors. And it's the only way that seniors can choose the preventive treatment they need. This motion is about choice. It's about living in a free country. It's about having freedom. Mr. Speaker, this common-sense motion will protect seniors' health care, lower health care costs and preserve freedom. I yield back.

LEMON: OK. You've been listening to Dave Reichert, a Republican from Washington state there, talking about senior citizens and what have you. But again, this is where they sort of debate the motion that's about to happen. This is going to go on for just a little bit here.

We're back on CNN with the live House vote on health care reform in just a moment. Don't go away.


LEMON: OK. Listen, getting something guidance here. Congressman Braley, right, from Iowa -- is that who's speaking? Oh, yes, there he is. OK. That's who's speaking. Brianna Keilar is standing by right now, and she can help me with this. Brianna, can you hear me?


LEMON: And I'm hearing this is getting a little heated. Do you guys want to listen in and then Brianna and I can talk? Yes? OK. We're going to listen in. Brianna, we'll talk after we listen for a bit.

REP. BRUCE BRALEY (D), IOWA: ... from the delivery of medical care. That's why they aren't telling you about what the Institutes of Medicine reported the cost of medical errors is in this country. They reported in their studies that every year, medical errors add $17 billion to $28 billion of cost, most of it in additional medical care, that we end up paying for as consumers of health care. When you multiply that over the 10 years of this bill, that means it's costing us $170 billion to $280 billion if we continue to ignore this problem. That's why Democrats -- Democrats and the Institutes of Medicine are standing up for patients, and that's why you should reject this motion to recommit.

LEMON: All right, Brianna Keilar -- can you hear that, Brianna?

KEILAR: I can.

LEMON: OK. KEILAR: And what you're looking at here, Don, is this is really Republicans -- that's a Democrat that you're hearing speak there, but this is really -- this is Republicans' last chance to change the bill. It's really a proposal where they get to try to send this bill back to the drawing board, essentially killing the bill if this were to pass, which it's not expected to pass. And what they do is they can attach something to it, and it kind of makes it a tough vote for Democrats.

So what they did -- and we didn't know they were doing this literally until the minority whip, Eric Cantor, announced what they were doing with their motion here -- was to put something in here that would -- that basically would stem some of those medical malpractice lawsuits that doctors face. And this is really kind of a pet cause of Republicans, where they say that it -- you know, it costs doctors so much money, it's contributing to the rising costs of health care.

This has been a rallying cry from Republicans and from their supporters, and this has been something that, traditionally, Democrats resist. But we were kind of waiting to see what they were going to throw in there that was going to be tricky for Democrats, and this is the issue they chose.

LEMON: Brianna, I guess you can't call it pork. Maybe -- I don't know, is it pork, or is this just a stall tactic? Is there any -- is there any legitimacy to this except to -- for stalling? That's what I'm asking.

KEILAR: I mean, this is the -- this is just something that -- this is what happens with most votes.


KEILAR: You know, a lot of times, Republicans are given this opportunity to do this, or the minority party is given the opportunity to, you know, put this motion out there. It's not unusual.

LEMON: So this is procedural. This is what happens.

KEILAR: Yes. And what we're going to be seeing, I believe, after this is going to be that vote on the bill, on the actual bill.

LEMON: Yes. So...

KEILAR: And that's really what we're waiting for.

LEMON: So Brianna, very good. Stand by. And that's why we have to get to break. Listen, we're following this vote here in Washington on the House floor, so you're going to see it live. So don't worry. We're in commercial. We'll come out -- we'll break the commercial.

And again, we're following another developing story about a family who's divided over the shootings of 13 victims in Ft. Hood. Some people in the family say forgive and forget. But this one man who's going to join us live says, No way. No way. Very brave of him to come in tonight, and there he is right there. We're going to see him in just a little bit. Again, we're live here tonight on the vote and also the Ft. Hood shootings, two developing stories.


LEMON: OK, so here's what's happening right now on the House floor. This is a motion to recommit, and you heard Brianna and you heard John Allen from Politico saying this is the last chance to sort of get this bill not to pass, that the minority party here, whether it be Republican or Democrat, they throw things in to -- throw things at the wall, or whatever it is, to try to get this not to pass.

So you see -- let's look here now. And again, this -- these aren't final tallies until the gavel is actually down, so you see why Democrats are voting against it and Republicans are voting for it. If it fails, then it goes in to the next vote, which is a big vote. If it passes, then we don't have the big vote. So you see all the Democratic votes saying no, which means fail. We go on to the Democrats' health care bill.

This is going to take a little bit of time, a little bit of time here. So we're standing by. We're back in a moment. We're going to have the vote for you. The vote on health care coming up live here on CNN.


LEMON: What you're seeing right now live on your screen, the last thing to happen, they last thing they have to vote on before they actually go for the big vote on health care on the House floor. This is going to take a little bit. So in the meantime, stand by. We're going to have it for you live. But we want to move on to another developing story here for a bit, and then we'll get back to this.

You know, we've been following this terrible Ft. Hood shooting. And Dick Nemelka is Aaron Nemelka's uncle. Private First Class Aaron Nemelka is one of the 13 victims in the Ft. Hood mass shooting.

Mr. Nemelka, thank you for joining us. You say that you will not forgive what happened to your nephew, even though there are members of your family and other families say, Move on, forgive and forget, what can you do now? You're not -- you can't forgive here.

DICK NEMELKA, NEPHEW DIED IN FT. HOOD SHOOTING: Well, not at this point in time. Aaron's dad, Michael (ph), and his grandfather, Michael (ph), who's my brother -- they both served missions for the Mormon church, and they're of the attitude that, you know, they forgive almost anybody. But I don't -- I don't think that anybody that murders another individual ought to be forgiven unless that person that committed the act sincerely and remorsefully, you know, repents or whatever and asks for forgiveness. Obviously, he's not doing that, and I wouldn't forgive him.

LEMON: You said something...

NEMELKA: No, not at all.

LEMON: You said something very interesting to me. You said that you would take your nephew's place, if you could.

NEMELKA: Sure, I would. I mean, I'm a 66-year-old retired attorney, but if the Army would take me, I'd go to Afghanistan in a minute to take Aaron's place. I mean, I sincerely believe we're in a war against terrorists and all of us should be willing to do whatever we can to fight that war.

LEMON: Some things were missed, you believe, by people in our military or the higher-ups, or at least people who were observing this alleged shooter.

NEMELKA: I'm sorry?

LEMON: Do you believe that some things were missed by people who were...

NEMELKA: Oh, yes. For sure.

LEMON: ... observing or around the alleged shooter?

NEMELKA: Oh, yes. I think quite a few things were missed. And whether it was significant negligence to constitute some problems for the military or the government, I'm not sure. But I think we, as -- as human beings and citizens of the United States, have missed things. I mean, I don't -- I don't care whether you're a Mormon or Catholic or a Muslim or of the Jewish faith or whatever. We all have a responsibility, in my mind, anyway, to look out for those people in our religions that are fanatics. And we need to have -- we have -- should have the duty to also do whatever we can to make sure these fanatics don't murder innocent people.

LEMON: Tough question for you. Tough question here for you, Mr. Nemelka. What is next? Have you guys made arrangements for Aaron?

NEMELKA: Well, Aaron's father, Michael, and his mother, Tina (ph), are waiting until they receive the necessary information in regard to when the body would be shipped back to Utah and how they would take care of the funeral arrangements there. So we're just waiting to hear from Michael and Tina as to what they're going to do, when the funeral will be held.

LEMON: Dick Nemelka, I mean this, you know, from the bottom of my heart, our thoughts and prayers are with you. We're so sorry for your family, as well as the other family members -- families who lost loved ones in Ft. Hood. Best of luck to you, OK?

NEMELKA: Well, thank you. And I'm sorry for those other people, too. And I wish them the best, and I hope that their -- those that were injured heal and are able to continue on in their lives.

LEMON: Thank you.

NEMELKA: Thank you.

LEMON: Dick Nemelka. We want to move on now and take you back to Washington, D.C., live and the House floor, where a vote on health care is about to happen in just a short while. They're finishing up some business before they get to the actual vote. It's going to be live. We're going to carry it here for you on CNN. You're looking at the tally board right there, where those votes will show up, and we're going to bring it to you after the break.


LEMON: All right, breaking news here on CNN, and we are watching and waiting the House floor, and I'm just looking at some of your comments here. You can see it. You know what's going on by now, hopefully. The House is about to vote really on this -- what the president calls an historic health care bill. Same thing for Congressman John Dingell, says it's going to be historic. They said they're very optimistic that it's going to pass. This is the final piece of business that they're going to take of before that vote. And this one -- if this one is voted down, and I believe -- it is believed that it is, they're going to go on to vote on that health care reform bill.

So let's see what you guys are saying here tonight. One person -- I'm not sure if it's in there -- said they were glad that -- it's good to see lawmakers working tonight in Congress. Ralph4159 (ph) says, "Don, you keep repeating some GOP meme about Obama being premature. Now that the bill has passed, will you call him a hero?" Well, that's a bit premature because the bill hasn't passed. It's expected that it might pass. So far, not yet, Ralph4159.

Rahla (ph), or Rahla, whichever one -- "Husband and I appreciate the coverage. Keep up the good work and please keep tweeting updates." Cricket (ph) says, "American politics at its finest. Arghhh." And here's what Candace83 (ph) says. "I sure hope Alan Grayson speaks. He's a no-nonsense guy with a pit bull mentality. He's a sliver in the butt of the GOP." And here's -- here's Cricket again. It says, "I love to see Congress work nights/weekends. Maybe they'll learn how the rest of us have to work and live."

Earlier, we spoke to RNC chair Michael Steele. And here are some of your comments about him. He said he'd join us after this vote. Let's hope he does. Gramalka (ph) he says -- I'm not sure how to say that -- "Let Mr. Steele know that the people will be the winners when President of the United States" -- president of the United States, I'm sure you guys know that -- "signs the bill into law. It is our time." Beachlife2 (ph) says, "GOP, grand obstructionist party. America needs nationalized health care. I'm being denied access to care. So where is my choice?"

Hey, keep them coming. I love to read your comments. Even if you don't agree with me, that's fine. We like to hear constructive criticism. And we want everyone to be respectful. Someone wrote earlier wrote -- called someone a name on here. Maybe it was me. I think they called me a liar about something. Let's not do that. Let's have some decorum, even on line.

OK, so keep your comments coming, Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace or We're watching live now Congress, the House floor. Will it pass? Will it not? You're going to see it here on CNN live after the break.


LEMON: You're looking live now at the floor of the House, the Democrats' health care reform bill about to be voted on at any moment now. It is looming. And right now, they are reading -- hey, listen, they're reading whether or not this is going to pass. This is the final thing that happens before they go on to the big vote. Listen in.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The eyes appear to have it.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gentleman from Indiana.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gentleman asked for a recorded vote. Those favoring a recorded vote will rise. A sufficient number having risen, a recorded vote is ordered. Members will record their votes by electronic device. Pursuant to clause A to rule 20, the 15-minute vote on passage of the bill will be followed by a 5-minute vote on the motion to suspend the rules on House resolution 895.

LEMON: OK, here we go. So Brianna Keilar standing by. Elaine Quijano standing by. Elaine's at the Washington bureau. Elaine Quijano's (SIC) at the Capitol, on Capitol Hill. Elaine, What did we just hear? What's going on? I'm sorry, Brianna. Forgive me. Brianna, what are we hearing here?

KEILAR: Hey, I'll answer to anything.


KEILAR: We have a vote here, and I believe -- you know, we're keeping an eye on this, but I believe we are moving now to the vote on the actual bill, as I understand it. You can hear that buzzer going off, and we are -- yes, this is it. This is the vote on the health care bill.