Cantor, Stupak: Pelosi’s 15 votes short of passing ObamaCare; Update: Boehner calls on Dems to invite Stupak to summit

posted at 1:54 pm on February 24, 2010 by Allahpundit

Actually, as you’ll see, Stupak says it may be more like “15 to 20.” Cantor’s head count of likely no’s this time around via the Daily Caller:

He estimates that House Democrats will likely only be able to attract 202 votes out of the 255-member caucus, 15 votes below the 217-vote threshold they need to pass the bill…

But a House Democratic leadership aide responded Wednesday to Cantor, saying he was “assuming the president’s proposal is a final bill.”…

On the abortion issue, here are the key lawmakers who voted for the House bill in November that Cantor says will not vote for the president’s proposal:

1. Cao, Anh (LA)
2. Costello, Jerry (IL)
3. Dahlkemper, Kathy (PA)
4. Donnelly, Joe (IN)
5. Driehaus, Steve (OH)
6. Ellsworth, Brad (IN)
7. Kaptur, Marcy (OH)
8. Kildee, Dale (MI)
9. Lipinski, Dan (IL)
10. Oberstar, Jim (MN)
11. Stupak, Bart (MI)
12. Wilson, Charlie (OH)

He’s got several others pegged as possible no’s in protest of the Senate’s use of reconciliation. NBC is keeping hope alive, noting that Blue Dogs who voted no on the House bill last time because it had a public option and raised taxes may be wooed by Obama’s more “moderate bill.” But that assumes that (a) no progressives will walk away from Obama because he didn’t include a public option, and (b) that the political risk to Blue Dogs in voting yes now is the same as, or even less than, the risk they faced when voting on Pelosi’s bill in November, which of course is insane. In fact, Jason Altmire, one of the Blue Dogs whom NBC cites as a potential flip, told the AP that he’s highly skeptical that there are enough votes to pass anything. The nightmare for The One is that any Democrat, left or center, who’s eager to find an excuse to not vote for this thing can find something in the compromise bill to latch onto as a “dealbreaker.” And that being so, given the current political climate, why would anyone think Pelosi’s likely to get more people flipping yes than flipping no?

As for the sudden burst of enthusiasm among Senate moderates for reconciliation, that’s an even bigger bluff than the recent revival of public option fee-vah. If you’re Blanche Lincoln or Ben Nelson or Mary Landrieu, why on earth would you commit to reconciliation until you knew for sure that Pelosi had the votes to sneak the Senate bill through the House? You’d be accepting a fantastic political risk — a toxic procedural bypass — with the prospect of absolutely no reward. Exit quotation from an unnamed House Democrat who voted for Pelosi’s bill: “This is a career-ending vote.”


Update: Very clever. A nice play by Boehner to turn the cameras tomorrow on dissension with the Democrats’ own ranks:

On February 8, House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) and I wrote a letter to your chief of staff, Mr. Emanuel, posing a number of questions about the proposed February 25 summit. Among the questions we asked was whether congressional Democrats who are opposed to the House or Senate versions of the health care bill would be invited to participate in the summit. As of this writing, Mr. Emanuel has not responded to our letter, and the Democratic leadership in the House has not indicated any plans to include such members in the delegations they are sending to Blair House.

I write today to respectfully ask that you invite Rep. Stupak to participate in the February 25 health care summit so that the will of the American people – and that of a bipartisan majority in the House – on the critical issue of life will be appropriately represented during the discussion.


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