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March 19, 2010

Whip Count 3-18-10: 192 Yes, 211 No

Now let's talk about useful whip counts and whip counts that, well, aren't. The Hill's whip count, which is tracking in terms of "firm", "leaning", and "likely" votes, is useful. It lists which member goes in which group and why. FireDogLake's whip count, which most closely matches my own in the totals if not all the placements, has a helpful table to track votes.

By contrast, Fox News' whip count has nothing except the score, which it thinks as of this writing is 214-217. There is no explanation of how they got that number or why. Now, that's about as useful as a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest. It does nothing but encourage folks to DON'T JUST STAND THERE, PANIC!

For the record, none of the people tracking votes on this bill have it as close as 214-217. Except Fox News. Now, maybe Fox has info the rest of us don't, but I rather suspect they're busy making news instead of reporting it. Please don't declare defeat prematurely. There was some wailing and gnashing of teeth earlier today, but no one is ready to call it quits. Pelosi doesn't have it yet. We'd know if she did.

That said, there were some big changes today, so on with the whip count:

Pelosi picked up four votes from Betsy Markey, Bart Gordon, Luis Gutierrez, and Solomon Ortiz. Markey and Gordon had been "maybes." Gutierrez is the fellow who made the bizarre switch from "yes" to "pass my immigration bill and we'll talk." Well, today the President announced that he supported Gutierrez's immigration reform framework and Gutierrez promptly switched back to "yes." The other sponsor on the immigration reform bill was Solomon Ortiz, who was thought to be a "maybe", but who can securely be put in the "Voting Yes" group.

Three congresscreeps came out of that group, however, when Dina Titus, Mike Capuano, and John Tierney announced that they are now undecided. Let's not be fooled. I think they're looking for a payoff of some kind and will switch back, but for now they're something for Pelosi to worry about and I'm putting them in the maybe group.

Another possible "yes" to "undecided" is Bobby Rush, but this is so transparently a request for a bribe, that I'm not moving him. I know I said I'd go by their public statements, but his "I'm still thinking about it" claim is inherently unbelievable.

The big surprise of the day was this morning's announcement from Steve Lynch on local radio that he will vote against the bill. Everyone thought he was a "yes" so that pulls another from Pelosi's total, which means her score for the day is a wash. She picked up four and lost four. Unless you're prone to jumpiness around sudden movement, today's events shouldn't have set you off.

Finally, Travis Childers, comes out of the "maybe" crowd and goes to the "Not No Way" group.

And, as ever, the group of timid "maybes" telling their constituents by phone that they will vote no, but not announcing to the media, includes Lincoln Davis and Harry Teague. Davis, Teague, and John Boccieri are expected to announce their position on Friday. Actually, Teague said he'd decide today (Thursday), but his announcement was that he was still thinking about it.

All told, Pelosi has 192 "definitely voting yes." This leaves her 24 votes shy of the necessary 216. There are 28 maybes, 13 who voted "no" on the November House bill.

Thanks to David, Jack, Myryea, Lawrence, Paul, enoxo, Josh and Nick. The categories and names are below the fold:


No Pretty Much Means No:
There are twenty-one "No" Democrats in November who still make noises that sound like "no". This group goes in the Definitely Not, Not No Way, Not No How category, having announced that they oppose the bill.

John Adler (NJ-3), Dan Boren (OK-2), Bobby Bright (AL-2), Ben Chandler (KY-6), Travis Childers (MS-1), Artur Davis (AL-7), Chet Edwards (TX-17), Tim Holden (PA-17), Larry Kissell (NC-8 ), Suzanne Kosmas (FL-24), Frank Kratovil (MD-1), Jim Marshall (GA-8 ), Mike McIntyre (NC-7), Mike McMahon (NY-13), Charlie Melancon (LA-3), Walt Minnick (ID-1), Collin Peterson (MN-7), Mike Ross (AR-7), Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD-All), Ike Skelton (MO-4), Gene Taylor (MS-4).

Wont Vote For A Bill That Kills Babies:
Then there are Stupak's Dozen Eleven. These are "yes" votes in November that are now "no" votes because of the Senate abortion funding. The confirmed members are: Bart Stupak (MI-1), Marion Berry (AR-1), Joe Cao (LA-2, Republican), Jerry Costello (IL-12), Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-3), Joe Donnelly (IN-2), Steve Driehaus (OH-1), Brad Ellsworth (IN-8 ), Dan Lipinski (IL-3). The conjectured final members include Henry Cuellar (TX-28 ), Marcy Kaptur (OH-9).

It's An Election Year:
Then there's the other "yes" votes who have publicly switched: Mike Arcuri (NY-24) and Chris Carney (PA-10).

Maybe:
That leaves the maybes. There are now fifteen who voted "yes" the first time, but have refused to commit to voting the same way this time:

Sanford Bishop (GA-2), Tim Bishop (NY-1), Mike Capuano (MA-8 ), Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-8 ), Bill Foster (IL-14), Baron Hill (IN-9), Paul Kanjorski (PA-11), Alan Mollohan (WV-1), Bill Owens (NY-23), Tom Perriello (VA-5), Earl Pomeroy (ND-All), Nick Rahall (WV-3), Zack Space (OH-18 ), John Tierney (MA-6), Dina Titus (NV-3).

And there are thirteen left who voted "no" the first time who could be victims of Rahm-in-the-lockerroom-with-the-lead-pipe bullying or Cornhusker Compromise bribery because they haven't declared yet what they plan to do:

Jason Altmire (PA-4), Brian Baird (WA-3), John Barrow (GA-12), John Boccieri (OH-16), Rick Boucher (VA-9), Allen Boyd (FL-2), Lincoln Davis (TN-4), Jim Matheson (UT-2), Scott Murphy (NY-20), Glenn Nye (VA-2), Heath Shuler (NC-11), John Tanner (TN-8 ), Harry Teague (NM-2).

So Pelosi needs 24 out of 28 maybes to break her way.

NOTE: If you think I've got one of these guys in the wrong group and have a public statement from the Congresscritter demonstrating it email me at [gabriel.malor at gmail] and I will update the count.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 12:37 AM

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