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January 06, 2010

House Republican Whip Says Over 35 Democrats Have Potential To Bail On Health Care Vote

Noted Jew* and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor has released a memo outlining why Republicans think there are 37 House Democrats who voted for the original House bill who may be in play as possible No votes the second time around.

Cantor outlines 3 groups to target, those opposed to public funding of abortions, those whose states will be hit hardest by the elimination of Medicare Advantage and those who states are cutting education funding while being forced by this bill to pony up for more Medicaid spending (pdf).

Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid can no longer promise to address a wavering Member’s concerns later in the process. They can no longer make contradictory promises to different Members. And because of the work of the American people, they have hardly any margin for error in keeping 218 House votes and 60 Senate votes in lock-step.

Although the Senate and House bills deal with the new government run plan differently, the key results of the provisions of both bills are the same: patients will not be able to keep the health plan that they like nor will small businesses in this struggling economy face relief, just more mandates.

It will be difficult for any House Democrat who originally opposed the House-passed bill to support anything that resembles the recently passed Senate bill. With a finite target list of House Democrats who can make the difference and help us defeat this bill, now is the time to redouble our efforts.

I’m going to say that 37 is a bit optimistic but considering the bill only passed the House the first time by 2 votes, we don’t need that many to kill this. Yeah, Pelosi probably had a few in her pocket that she let vote no who would be there if she insisted (much like the one Republican is thought to have voted yes only after passage was assured) but that was in November. Are those reserve Democrats there 2 months and a whole lot of dropping poll numbers later?

Reid and Pelosi may not be able to address everyone’s concerns in this bill but they will sell it as an opening step. The question is will members look at the landscape and think Reid and/or Pelosi won’t have a majority after this year to deliver on those promised ‘fixes’.

Leadership will also promise anything else (bridges, post offices, research money) for the districts of wavering members. The vote buying will be enough to make old school Chicago politicians blush.

I still think the odds are decidedly in favor of passage but it’s not a done deal. Be sure to watch CSPAN as President Wonderful promised so you can see how the process works. Oh wait.

*For new comers to the HQ, this is an old joke.


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posted by DrewM. at 11:15 AM

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