Oh my: Two House yes votes on ObamaCare may flip to no

posted at 4:45 pm on March 3, 2010 by Allahpundit

Nothing’s certain but one of them looks solid and, given Pelosi’s margin, even one is potentially disastrous. Let’s start with the solid. Blue Dog Michael Arcuri, come on down!

Arcuri, who voted in early November in favor of the House version of the health care bill, said he is against the Senate bill for three main reasons:

* He doesn’t want to see the bill passed as a “mega bill,” and he believes more success would be had by breaking the bill apart and passing aspects of it incrementally, he said.

* Arcuri also said he isn’t comfortable with the possible Democratic strategy of passing the bill through reconciliation. This would get around Republican opposition by having the House pass the Senate bill, then the Senate would make amendments requested by the House, and the House would pass the new Senate bill. In other words, a Republican filibuster in the Senate could likely be avoided.

* The Senate bill differs from the House bill in ways Arcuri said he dislikes. He cited a provision that would tax benefits on insurance policies, expand Medicaid eligibility, provide an unfairly low amount of funding to the state and not allow for negotiations on prescription drug prices.

No surprise. He’s a red-district Democrat who likes his job. If it’s surprises you want, try this one on for size:

An influential House progressive says he’s less likely to vote for the final healthcare reform bill now that the White House has incorporated Republican ideas — which could indicate a serious problem is brewing among liberals as Democratic leaders try to figure out a way to finish work on the legislation.

“As I weigh it, I think — for me — a ‘no’ vote is something that I continue to lean toward,” Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., the co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told Salon in a brief interview off the House floor Wednesday. “Especially the last additions — that was kind of a slap in the face for all of us who fought for the public option.”…

[Obama's health savings account] provision “was, when we were in the minority, something that we fought tooth and nail to keep out [of legislation],” Grijalva said. “I find that ironic — something that we had fought to keep out, and indeed were successful, gets back in as part of reconciliation. And a public option that enjoys great support in the House and up to 30 senators gets left out. That’s something I just don’t understand.”

Not only won’t the progressive caucus whip its members to vote yes, but Grijalva says he’s “pretty certain” that Kucinich and Eric Massa won’t be the only hard-left liberals to vote no this time because the bill’s not as socialist as they would like. Massa, in fact, could flip to yes to help Pelosi out given the announcement this afternoon that he’s retiring for health reasons (and maybe other reasons too). But don’t bet on it: He’s a committed proponent of single-payer, and as the left is discovering to its dismay, retiring Democrats who voted no in November aren’t automatic yeses this go round. Right, Brian Baird?

In a brief interview with Salon Tuesday night, Baird didn’t sound particularly enthusiastic about the prospect of switching his vote. “I get all these people advocating, calls and letters, saying vote one way or the other,” he said. “I don’t know how they know what’s going to be in it — because I sure don’t.”…

“We’re going to be asked, ‘Okay, up or down,’ on a Senate bill, under reconciliation rules which we don’t know will the Senate vote for it, will it be included under reconciliation,” he said. “So they’re going to say, ‘Okay, vote for this bill, because it would do X,’ but under reconciliation, X may not make it past the parliamentarian’s gate… We’re not sure what’s in it [and] we don’t know whether it’ll pass the Senate anyway.”

Pelosi needs Massa and Baird to cancel out Arcuri and Grijalva, but even if she gets them, she’s only back to the status quo. And the status quo, thanks to the pro-life objections of Stupak et al., means she’s probably 10-12 votes in the hole at the moment. In fact, according to an NYT piece from a few days ago flagged by Geraghty, yet another retiree whom Pelosi was targeting for a flip — John Tanner — has told friends he’s sticking with his no vote. If they can’t get Dems who are already “dead” to change their mind, how are they going to convince Blue Dogs running for reelection to commit kamikaze?

The beauty of Arcuri and Grijalva speaking up, of course, is that it’ll encourage other fencesitters to commit to voting no. The less likely it seems that this thing will pass, the less undecideds have to worry about their vote being the difference and the easier it becomes to abandon ship. Here’s to an imminent dam burst. Via Greg Hengler, I leave you with McConnell’s response to Obama’s speech this afternoon. Given the ideological differences between Arcuri and Grijalva, his point about bipartisan opposition is even truer than it at first seems.


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You know how they are going to force the dems to vote for this?
Obama is going to threaten to campaign for them if they don’t!!!

ArmyAunt on March 3, 2010 at 6:14 PM

This whole thing is going to give me an ulcer, and if Obamacare passes guess who’s not going to get treated for it.

Niere on March 3, 2010 at 6:18 PM

Good for McConnell: I don’t know when I have seen him better.
One question, however: Why don’t the Republicans pound away on the point that congress is exempting itself from Obamacare? To me that is outrageous and is a winning argument against this legislation.

GaltBlvnAtty on March 3, 2010 at 6:29 PM

More backroom dealings from the One.

Zorg on March 3, 2010 at 6:29 PM

“This is not an argument between democrats and republicans, it is an argument between democrats and the American people.- Mitch McConnell.

Tru Dat

IowaWoman on March 3, 2010 at 6:38 PM

Color me warily optimistic, but I have a hard time believing that San Fran Nan can get enough ‘nos’ to switch their votes. I mean, Heath Shuler has got to be getting an earful, and I think he rather likes his cushy job…

How many other ‘nos’ are in red districts…

ladyingray on March 3, 2010 at 6:39 PM

Seems like a savvy politician could have predicted this impasse at the beginning. For all of the posturing, the Obama/Reid/Pelosi team can’t see more than one chess move ahead. Or maybe it’s checkers they’re playing. Sowell Disciple on March 3, 2010 at 5:17 PM

100% right. These bozo’s couldn’t war-game a game of tic tac toe. Remember their Middle East peace process gambit?

Huddle–”We’ll get the Israelis to make a really hard concession like no one ever thought they’d make, yeah, and then we’ll turn to the Palestinians, and say, ‘Hey, the Israelis just gave up on something really hard, so now you got to give up on something really hard.’ Awesome, yeah, let’s do it! 1, 2, 3, break!”

US–”Alright Israel–housing freeze on settlements even for natural population growth!”

Israel–”Suck wind. Natural population growth has always been allowed. Go play with yourself.”

US–”Er, what do we do now? Shoot, we never thought of what to do if they said no. Well, let’s try the Palestinians anyway. Cairo speech n’ all that, ya know?”

US–”OK Palestinians. We asked the Israelis to do something really hard–freeze settlements, even for natural population growth.”

Pals–”Excellent! They’ve never been asked to do that before! What did they say?”

US–”They told us to suck wind. But anyway, since we asked them to do something really hard, we want you to do something really hard. Help us out, ok? Cairo speech n’ everything?”

Pals–”Suck wind. But thanks for putting a new bargaining chip on the table. We’ll think about doing something hard when the Izzy’s pick up that new bargaining chip. You frickin’ infidel nimnuls.”

US–”Well, that didn’t go so great, eh? Hey but we’re new at this. And we’ll just blame it on the Israelis–the NYT will love that.”

Smart power at work. No wonder they’ve met themselves coming and going with the Cornhusker abortion deletion/addition strategy, which they now can’t mess with because of reconciliation. Freakin’ infidel nimnuls.

It is ironic…
Ben Nelson could have saved them,
But they bought him off.

If they had listened,
And given in to Nelson,
This is a done deal.

“Such a tangled web…”
And “Cheaters never prosper…”
Some words to live by.

Haiku Guy on March 3, 2010 at 12:00 PM
From this thread.

smellthecoffee on March 3, 2010 at 7:00 PM

Tonight, Barack Obama will host ten House Democrats who voted against the health care bill in November at the White House; he’s obviously trying to persuade them to switch their votes to yes. One of the ten is Jim Matheson of Utah. The White House just sent out a press release announcing that today President Obama nominated Matheson’s brother Scott M. Matheson, Jr. to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Up on Drudge. (Insert swear words here)

journeyintothewhirlwind on March 3, 2010 at 7:01 PM

Up on Drudge. (Insert swear words here)

journeyintothewhirlwind on March 3, 2010 at 7:01 PM

No, actually, now that it’s out, his brother would more likely have to vote against Obamcare to show he couldn’t be bought. He’s from Utah. I don’t think public corruption goes down as well there as it does in Chicago.

Wethal on March 3, 2010 at 7:05 PM

ladyingray on March 3, 2010 at 6:39 PM

She has to offer them(blue dogs) something worth more than their seats.

a capella on March 3, 2010 at 7:07 PM

No, actually, now that it’s out, his brother would more likely have to vote against Obamcare to show he couldn’t be bought. He’s from Utah. I don’t think public corruption goes down as well there as it does in Chicago.
Wethal on March 3, 2010 at 7:05 PM

The Cornhusker Kickback. The Louisiana Purchase. The Utah…??

joejm65 on March 3, 2010 at 7:09 PM

The Cornhusker Kickback. The Louisiana Purchase. The Utah…??

joejm65 on March 3, 2010 at 7:09 PM

The Utah rectal/cranial auto-clusterfark?

Boy. More smart power.

smellthecoffee on March 3, 2010 at 7:15 PM

No, actually, now that it’s out, his brother would more likely have to vote against Obamcare to show he couldn’t be bought. He’s from Utah. I don’t think public corruption goes down as well there as it does in Chicago.
Wethal on March 3, 2010 at 7:05 PM

The Cornhusker Kickback. The Louisiana Purchase. The Utah…??

joejm65 on March 3, 2010 at 7:09 PM

I’m with Wethal on this one. It would have been one thing if this went down 3 months ago, they cant get away with this sort of thing now. Too many peoples eyes are on this now.

Gatsu on March 3, 2010 at 7:15 PM

I broke all my rose tinted glasses but I hope your right. It says specifically that he is meeting with the 10 No votes from November. Expect more announcements.

journeyintothewhirlwind on March 3, 2010 at 7:22 PM

The Cornhusker Kickback. The Louisiana Purchase. The Utah…??

joejm65 on March 3, 2010 at 7:09 PM

The Latter Day Sop.

Mr Purple on March 3, 2010 at 7:38 PM

She has to offer them(blue dogs) something worth more than their seats.

a capella on March 3, 2010 at 7:07 PM

What can she offer them that is better than life time ultimate healthcare and a great pension… seriously, I don’t know…she has NO power outside the House, and it is only minimal there…

ladyingray on March 3, 2010 at 7:42 PM

She has to offer them(blue dogs) something worth more than their seats.

a capella on March 3, 2010 at 7:07 PM

Thats why we havew to offer them something more than losing their jobs. How about the fear of showing their facews back in their communities, homes, blocks, Resturants, a la Ben Nelson Traitor D NE

http://www.redstate.com/brianfaughnan/2010/01/14/ben-nelson-sure-isnt-popular-in-nebraska-anymore/

The Cornhusker Kickback. The Louisiana Purchase.

The Utah…??…Ultimatum???

joejm65 on March 3, 2010 at 7:09 PM

dhunter on March 3, 2010 at 7:49 PM

The Utah urinal deal.

Dhuka on March 3, 2010 at 8:01 PM

I have to give McConnell credit for whatever he’s done in the past year to keep this thing going. Since losing those three RINO (Maine twins/Specter) votes on Porkulous, he’s done a great job of keeping his minority unanimous in opposition to the Socialist takeover of America. If somebody had told you last June/July, when BHO wanted ObamaCare passed before August recess, that we’d be here 9 months later and none of the GOP senators flipped, you’d never have believed it. Good job, Mitch.

PatMac on March 3, 2010 at 8:41 PM

You cannot depend on Democrats to have a moral stance. It would be like seeing Hitler shout “Oy Veh!”

Not likely. They’ll vote for the chance to get the foot in the door.

archer52 on March 3, 2010 at 8:48 PM

smellthecoffee on March 3, 2010 at 7:00 PM

Wow! Great first-person reporting! You should write a book! Remember, though, if you want O-bots to buy it you’ll have to throw in pages to color and crayons. ;o)

ya2daup on March 3, 2010 at 9:45 PM

I’m hoping as one or two bolt from Pelosi, it will look like a run on the banks in 1930.

Sweet.

Or practice your “repeal” chants for the Million Taxpayer March on Washington.

PattyJ on March 3, 2010 at 10:24 PM

It’s not what Obama and Pelosi can offer that scares me. It’s what Soros can offer that scares me.

Dale on March 3, 2010 at 10:35 PM

Excuse me congressmen, forcing me to purchase your idea of healthcare is constitutional as in the House’s bill and BTW also in the Senate bill? Since when did your oath tell you that the federal court system was responsible to determine what was constitutional in America. Yes having a large pool of insured people would be nice, but while you are at it, how about making all car purchases by law to be of government cars from GM or Chrysler so the Treasury could get the loans paid back. Hey, that must be constitutional too!

amr on March 3, 2010 at 11:02 PM

The Honorable Senators from the Commonwealth of Kentucky will fight till the last dog’s dead! Neither Senator can be pushed around by the Corruptocrats. Bunning just took on the whole bunch single-handedly and to some degree won a small victory. McConnel fought them off of Humana almost by himself and to some extent won. Thy stand up for the good of Ky. and also serve the nation’s interest. I could not be more proud of them, however they are in desperate need of help! Please send them more conservative Senators to help defeat these evil people! We need a Surge of Senators to win this war! Help send back up! They will soldier on til help arrives!

Marco on March 4, 2010 at 12:00 AM

DUDE!

One does not “commit kamikaze”.

The kamikaze (divine wind) was the euphemistic name given to suicide pilots in the second world war. This was derived from a massive storm which destroyed an invading sea force in that country’s history.

You just don’t “commit pilot”.

Seppuku or hara-kiri is what you are looking for. The ritualized taking of one’s own life.

Let’s hone in before I go nucular.

heldmyw on March 4, 2010 at 6:50 AM

Now that’s the type of change I was hoping for.

MarkTheGreat on March 4, 2010 at 9:40 AM

ya2daup on March 3, 2010 at 9:45 PM

Thanks!

smellthecoffee on March 4, 2010 at 10:55 AM

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