Does Pelosi have the votes to pass Obama’s new bill? Politico: They don’t have the votes — yet

posted at 11:59 am on February 23, 2010 by Allahpundit

Ironically, for all of the left’s endless whining about the filibuster, it ain’t the Senate that’s their biggest problem anymore. A simple question for you from Philip Klein, who’s been counting heads in the lower chamber for weeks: Given that they’re starting with only 217 “yes” votes, who’ll be stupid enough among the no’s to flip in favor of what even David Brooks is calling a “fiscal time bomb”?

Of the 39 Democrats who voted against the House health care bill [in November], 31 of them were elected in districts that went for John McCain in 2008, according to a TAS analysis. One of the Democratic “no” votes, Rep. Parker Griffith of Alabama, has subsequently switched parties. Given that a Republican who campaigned on being a vote against the health care bill was just elected to fill the Senate seat once held by Ted Kennedy in a state that went for Obama by 26 points, it’s hard to see why anybody in a McCain district who already voted “no” would decide switch their vote to “yes.”

While Obama won the districts of the remaining eight “no” votes, in six cases, he won by only single digits, making them potentially competitive races this time around. And a closer look at several members who represent these areas are not very encouraging to proponents of Obamacare…

The biggest problem she faces is that President Obama’s proposal maintains the abortion provision in the Senate bill, rejecting Rep. Bart Stupak’s more restrictive language. When the bill passed the House the first time around, 41 Democrats voted for the health care bill only after voting for the Stupak amendment. Any of them could explain switching to a “no” vote on a final bill by citing abortion funding. Stupak himself has said there are at least 10 to 12 Democrats who voted for the bill the first time who would vote against it if it didn’t include his amendment (he reiterated Tuesday morning that the Senate abortion language adopted by Obama was still “unacceptable”). One of his co-sponsors, Rep. Brad Ellsworth, said at the time that he was only able to vote for the bill after the Stupak language was adopted, and he’s now running for Senate in Indiana, where a Rasmussen poll taken last month shows voters oppose the health care legislation by a 23-point margin.

Stupak called Obama’s abortion language “unacceptable” this morning. Assuming he’s not bluffing about those 10 to 12 pro-life Dems, Pelosi now needs roughly a dozen more yeses while not losing a single moderate or progressive, many of whom are doubtless irritated that The One didn’t use his own bill for an eleventh-hour push at the public option. One way Obama could have helped her was by introducing a stripped-down bill instead of the comprehensive leviathan he dropped yesterday — Blue Dog leader Heath Shuler wondered aloud this morning why he didn’t do precisely that — but the White House insists that, because the problems with health-care policy are interlocking, you can’t address one without addressing all of them. Which is awfully conscientious of them, but doesn’t quite jibe with the “we’ll pass anything we can pass to claim a political victory” vibe of the past, oh, six months. An alternative explanation from former Bush economist Keith Hennessey: They know they don’t have the votes and this is all just a blame-shifting exit strategy.

It is possible that we are witnessing uncoordinated Democratic leaders each pursuing their own exit strategy in anticipation of legislative failure:

* The President proposes a “compromise” and blames Republicans for being unreasonable and unconstructive. Legislative failure is the Republicans’ fault, not the President’s.

* Speaker Pelosi continues to press for a two bill strategy in which the House and Senate will pass a new reconciliation bill. If the Senate cannot or will not do so, legislative failure is the Senate’s fault, not the House’s or Speaker Pelosi’s.

* Supported by outside liberals, Leader Reid points out that the House could just take up and pass the Senate-passed bill. Legislative failure is therefore not his fault or the Senate’s.

He tried hard, dreamed big (although not big enough for progressives), and in the end the damned Republicans walked away from his elephantine bill. And the worst part, according to the White House, is that those darned teabaggers never even offered their own counterproposal. Except, er, for this one, which has been posted online since … 2009. Exit question: Does Pelosi have even 200 votes for this thing?

Update: Start twisting those arms, Nancy:

PLAYBOOK FACTS OF LIFE: Top aides tell us there are not currently 50 votes for the plan in the Senate, or 218 in the House. Moderate and endangered lawmakers want the spotlight off comprehensive health reform. Instead, it’s about to take center stage.


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Comment pages: 1 2

All Pinnochio wants is for the above idiots to agree on a provision or two and he will have the justification to try reconciliation.

Mccain? vote him out! JD Thursday would be a great day to announce a money bomb I’ll contribute BIG TIME!

Vote out everyone of these idiototic panderers. They will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

On a lighter note has anyone stopped to consider that after this passes against the will of the majority of Americans and after the bloodbath in 2010 and 2012 that the Republicans will be in charge of the death panels?

Nice knowin ya Harry,
Nasty, Pinnochio, McCain don’t get sick or in your private life you might not get the care you need!

dhunter on February 23, 2010 at 2:43 PM

dhunter: As I recall the dems thought about your idea. To prevent your idea from being implemented, their bills provide that the liberals in charge of the dealth panels will be appointed during Obama’s first term, with their terms lasting long into the future.

GaltBlvnAtty on February 23, 2010 at 2:54 PM

GaltBlvnAtty on February 23, 2010 at 2:54 PM

Are you telling me that this provision for who heads the panels can’t be overturned by a Republican Senate and House?
I think if the tricks that are being talked about are used to pass this socialization of Americas HealthCare Industry that a LOT of things will change and this would be one of the most minor.

If reconciliation is used for this it opens the door for reconciliation to counter this and also the door for reconciliation for other of their socialist fantasies!
Fairness doctrine?
Gun Control?
Where does it end?
With blood in the streets and politicians and media hacks swingin from the lampposts?

dhunter on February 23, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Hey, Townhall.com has this post linked as a feature story.

What are the odds?

uknowmorethanme on February 23, 2010 at 3:17 PM

I think if the tricks that are being talked about are used to pass this socialization of Americas HealthCare Industry that a LOT of things will change

Where does it end?

dhunter on February 23, 2010 at 3:05 PM

I asked my mom who was a big lib during the sixties, but has seen the light now, if she could remember anytime in her life that the will of the American people was expressed so strongly on an issue and the government ignored it. She replied, Viet Nam. Alot of those marchers/protesters are Seniors now, and they really don’t like this bill. Just a thought.

txmomof6 on February 23, 2010 at 3:27 PM

If we dodge a bullet here on Oliarcare and get a mulligan in 2010, we will have been saved only by the crazed imcompetence
of this fraudulent ninkumpoop and his corrupt chicago gang.
How many ways can these crooks regurgitate the same socialist takeover without it becoming obvious to everybody that they are truly dead enders?

ontherocks on February 23, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Are you telling me that this provision for who heads the panels can’t be overturned by a Republican Senate and House?
dhunter on February 23, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Not sure about that, dh. I do recall reading that any bill passed by a reconciliation vote can be overturned by a reconciliation vote. If that’s true then maybe there is some hope for us if this awful bill is eventually passed.

joejm65 on February 23, 2010 at 3:31 PM

Not sure about that, dh. I do recall reading that any bill passed by a reconciliation vote can be overturned by a reconciliation vote. If that’s true then maybe there is some hope for us if this awful bill is eventually passed.

joejm65 on February 23, 2010 at 3:31 PM

If they can’t repeal it they can NOT funded it. There are many bills that get passed that don’t get their funding. This could just be a big brown stain left behind by the Progressive Leadership, when they get replaced in November.

Dr Evil on February 23, 2010 at 3:34 PM

dhunter at 3:05: Yes, there are things that the dems can do and plan to do while they have control of both houses and the presidency, which will be very hard overturn without Republican majorities in both houses and the presidency, or veto-proof majorities in both houses. Make up of the death panels may be one of those.
I don’t know where this will end, but I share your concerns.

GaltBlvnAtty on February 23, 2010 at 4:06 PM

Question on reconciliation bills – I thought that any bill passed via reconciliation had to include a five year sunset clause such that if the bill is not passed again five years later it becomes void? Isn’t that the reason the “Bush tax cuts” are phasing out in 2010 unless extended? If so, what does that mean for a HCR bill passed via reconciliation, especially if most of the significant provisions don’t go into effect until 2012?

jdp629 on February 23, 2010 at 4:16 PM

jdp629 on February 23, 2010 at 4:16 PM

I’m pretty sure this is the entire point. You pass horrible legislation (that you really want) and then you “fix” it via reconciliation. Then, 5 years go by, the “fix” is voided and the horrible original single-payer trojan is activated.

Ta Da!

uknowmorethanme on February 23, 2010 at 4:27 PM

Midas on February 23, 2010 at 12:45 PM

Thanks Midas!! That was GOLDEN!

Elizabetty on February 23, 2010 at 5:04 PM

The night of the living dread keeps going and going, like a certain bunny.

Dhuka on February 23, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Peter Wehner on “Contentions” has a good piece on the summit as political theater, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing.

Dhuka on February 23, 2010 at 5:29 PM

“Bring ambulamps.”

Cybergeezer on February 24, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Want to distract Pelosi? Donate to her Republican opponent so he can force her to campaign for her seat. Who knows, enough Democrats might be pissed off at her after this healthcare fiasco to not vote for her. Wouldn’t it be nice to see her leave Congress?

popularpeoplesfront on February 25, 2010 at 10:54 PM

Comment pages: 1 2