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And Now Cao's "Reconsidering" -- All He Wants Is a Promise The'll Pass the Anti-Abortion Language They Despise So Much »
March 19, 2010

Weekly Standard's Count: Pelosi Doesn't Have the Votes Without Stupak's Dozen

A little more optimism, since Gabe's call me a pussy.

John Boccieri becomes the fourth Democrat who voted against the health care bill in November to flip his vote to "yes". He joins Betsy Markey, Bart Gordon, and Dennis Kucinich. I expect Scott Murphy of New York to become the fifth soon. Other potential flippers from "no" to "yes" include Suzanne Kosmas (Fla.), Brian Baird (Wash.), Jim Matheson (Utah), and Jason Altmire (Pa.).

But there's good news (I think): Peter DeFazio just announced he's flipping from Yes to No. And even if Pelosi can flip ten "no" votes to "yes," she's still short. Here's why.

If the number of Democrats who flip from "yes" to "no" is greater than the number who flip from "no" to "yes," the bill will be defeated.

Bart Stupak's coalition of pro-life Democrats is larger than many had assumed. While Stupak has claimed to have a dozen members willing to flip from "yes" to "no," most Democrats assumed he only had five. I think Stupak has at least nine Democrats in his coalition. Yes, I know politicians can go back on their word, but House leadership is still frantically trying to cut a deal with Stupak, which indicates they don't have the votes.

Meanwhile, though, some of Stupak's votes are talking with the Senate about the "guarantee" of a standalone, separate bill to forbid federal dollars being spent on abortions.

“There could be some kind of commitment from the other body to act on this later … to ensure that the Senate language does not remain law,” he said.

Rahall said that securing such an agreement could open up six to 10 members, including himself, to voting for the Senate bill and reconciliation language.


Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), another member who remains a no because of the Senate abortion language, on Thursday hinted that discussions along the lines Rahall mentioned were in the works.

Right, a "guarantee" to implement what they have previously categorically rejected. Remember, they only gave Ben Nelson his weaker language on abortion because they did not have a 60th vote without him.

But you know -- if Chuckie Schumer now "guarantees" he'll put up an anti-abortion bill, when he has absolutely no incentive to do so whatsoever, then these guys will vote for the bill.


McCormack addresses this, too, noting there are only 39 Republican pro-life votes in the Senate, meaning they'd need 21 Democrats to vote with them to overcome a filibuster.

Which 21 Democratic Senators could those possibly be?

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posted by Ace at 05:12 PM

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