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October 27, 2009

Leak: Internal Dem Whip-Count Document Shows "Robust Public Option" Doesn't Have the Votes to Clear Even the House

I've been thinking that Democrats have decided this is doomed, so now they are playing exclusively to their base, pushing as "robust" a "public option" as possible. They maybe want to campaign on "We swung for the fences but struck out."

Given that the "robust public option" can't even get enough Democratic votes to pass, I think maybe that's right.

The House Dem leadership has conducted its preliminary whip count and has tallied up less than 200 likely Yes votes in support of a health care reform bill with a robust public option, well short of the 218 needed for passage, according to an internal whip count document I’ve obtained.

The document — compiled by the office of House leader James Clyburn — was distributed privately at a meeting between Clyburn and House progressives today where the fate of the public option was the subject of some contentious debate, with liberals demanding that House leaders push harder to win over votes.

Clyburn spokesperson Kristie Greco would only say: “We currently do not have the votes for a robust public option.”

It's all the Republicans' fault, of course.

Thanks to Gabe for the tip.

By the way, a Blue Dog Democrat is basically accusing Barack Obama of lying in his big stupid primetime speech on health care.

Rep. Bart Stupak (D.-Mich.) told CNSNews.com that President Barack Obama told him in a telephone conversation that when he said in his Sept. 9 speech to a joint session of Congress that “under our plan no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions” he was not talking about the actual bill drafted in the House but about the president’s own health care plan—which has never been written.

“I don’t know if it is a game of semantics or what,” Stupak said of Obama’s nationally televised declaration to Congress that the health-care plan will not allow federal funding of abortion.

Both the House and Senate versions of the health-care bill permit federal funds to pay for insurance plans that cover abortions.

In his speech to the joint session of Congress, Obama directly rebutted the claim that the plan would fund abortions, calling it a “misunderstanding.” But in his later telephone conversation with Stupak, according to the congressman, Obama said that when he claimed in the speech that the plan would not fund abortions he was not talking about the House plan, he was talking about his own plan.

Interview with Stupak, stating "that's exactly what he [Obama] said," at the link.

Last tip via Hot Air.



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posted by Ace at 04:19 PM

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