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March 19, 2010

Eric Cantor: Democrats Are Bluffing; They're Around Seven Votes Down

Byron York reporting:

he best way to look at it is not to ask whether Speaker Nancy Pelosi has gotten the 216 votes needed to pass the Democrats' national health care bill, but whether opponents have the votes to defeat it.

Start with all 178 GOP lawmakers. (There have been rumors that Rep. Joseph Cao, who was the only Republican to vote for the health bill the first time, is wavering, but Cantor says Cao is a firm no.) Beginning the count with 178 Republicans means that opponents need 38 Democrats to vote against the bill for it to be defeated.


[I]f there are in fact 32 original Democratic no votes that are still no votes, then Republicans need to find six other Democrats to vote no in order to defeat the bill. Cantor points to one original yes vote that has switched to no -- Arcuri -- and suggests there might be five others who could switch: Berry, Costa, Giffords, Lynch, and Space.

That leaves the much-discussed Stupak Group. The pro-life Democrat originally said he had 12 colleagues who originally voted yes but would now vote no. Stupak has lost some of those, but it is not clear how many.

Cantor suggests that in combining those two categories -- the yeses who have become no plus the Stupak group -- there might be another 12 votes against the bill. "If we add 12 to 32, we get 44 -- which leaves Speaker Pelosi seven votes short," Cantor concludes. Of course, if there are less than 32 original no votes who remain no votes, the margin is tighter.

But that's the problem -- a lot of these "no" votes weren't very serious the first time around.

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posted by Ace at 06:08 PM

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