GOP: Democrats about 10 votes short in the House

posted at 5:03 pm on March 15, 2010 by Allahpundit

A new whip count hits Twitter every five minutes or so, replete with the latest “X says he undecided!” news, but I think every last one of them is pointless. There are a few Dems in the “definitely not” column but most seem to be in the “I’m leaning no but can be probably bought off” category. We won’t know which bribes Pelosi has in mind for which congressmen until tomorrow, so what’s the use in trying to predict now? It’s pure gamesmanship, aimed at convincing fencesitters that there’s a tide breaking in favor/against the bill. Game on:

In a press conference on Capitol Hill today, Rep. David Dreier (R., Calif.), ranking Republican on the House Rules Committee, said the word around the House is that Democrats are still about 10 votes away from securing the 216 they will need to pass changes to the health-care bill. Dreier added that that number might be moving in the wrong direction.

“You are hearing that people are peeling off,” he said.

Dreier also repeated the warnings about the Senate that many Congressional Republicans have been issuing to the other side of the aisle. Dreier said that, assuming House Democrats succeed in passing a reconciliation measure along to the Senate, even marginal changes made there would require the measure to return to the House yet again

The reconciliation measure would also have to be sent back to the House if any provisions contained therein were struck down by the Byrd Rule.

Imagine this. The Dems use the Slaughter strategy to pass a reconciliation fix, with Reid’s underlying Senate bill “deemed” passed by implication. But then, when Reid tries to pass the House’s reconciliation fix, the GOP succeeds in having parts of it stripped out or revised. A stripped-out fix eventually passes the Senate, but then it has to go back to the House to be passed there too so that the reconciliation bills in both chambers are identical. What if it doesn’t pass there? The result would be that Reid’s Senate bill will be law even though (a) there was no vote on the bill itself and (b) the bill in which it was “incorporated” itself failed to become law. Can’t wait. Bear in mind too that Obama’s own pollster is attempting to sell Democrats on voting for the bill per the theory that it’s not the legislation itself that the public hates, merely the dealmaking and procedural shenanigans. Even if that were true, how’s it going to play out at the polls when voters get a good hard whiff of Slaughter’s nonsense and the imminent Pelosi bribes, which have now been blessed by the White House?

DeMint says he’s “less confident” now than he was previously that O-Care can be stopped, but Clyburn is suddenly talking about an Easter Sunday deadline. And there is a reason to think Dreier might be right about people peeling off. According to a new poll of swing districts, the bill’s as toxic as you would expect:

Seven in 10 would vote against a House member who votes for the Senate health-care bill with its special interest provisions. That includes 45% of self-identified Democrats, 72% of independents and 88% of Republicans. Three in four disagree that the federal government should mandate that everyone buy a government-approved insurance plan (64% strongly so), and 81% say any reform should focus first on reducing costs. Three quarters agree that Americans have the right to choose not to participate in any health-care system or plan without a penalty or fine…

But the survey does provide a little good news for wavering Democrats. A congressman can buy himself a little grace if he had previously voted for health-care reform but now votes against it. Forty-nine percent of voters will feel more supportive of that member if he does so, 40% less supportive. More dramatically, 58% of voters say they will be more supportive of their congressman’s re-election if he votes against the bill a second time. However, for those members who voted against it in November and vote yes this time, 61% of voters say they will be less likely to support their re-election.

Here’s the crosstab on how House members can improve/hurt their chances with their health-care vote. Obviously, having voted no in November on Pelosi’s bill and voting no again now is the way to go to maximize one’s chances for reelection:

agag

Exit question: Is there anything the GOP can do this week to sway fencesitters? I was thinking this morning that it might not be a bad idea for McConnell and Boehner to pledge publicly that if the bill fails, they’ll make health-care reform their number two priority next year behind jobs. One of the big worries for centrist Dems is that if they vote no this time, health-care reform will be headed for another 16-year legislative limbo. If the GOP can somehow alleviate the “now or never” fear, it might give just enough Blue Dogs the comfort they need.


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I’m confused. I thought the House had to pass a virtually identical bill to the Senate’s… but they made a grab at taking student loans out of the private sector, too. What am I missing?

Fallon on March 15, 2010 at 6:06 PM

I hope the GOP is right and I hope it stays that way. If you go to Hugh Hewitt, he has link on top right corner to send emails automatically (sooo easy) to all blue dogs. Go do it now.

immigrantchick on March 15, 2010 at 6:08 PM

Hening on March 15, 2010 at 5:40 PM

What about the Sanity Clause? There is no Sanity Clause.

LibTired on March 15, 2010 at 6:09 PM

The Republicans need to block the Slaughter House strategy. That cannot be allowed and should be immediately taken up by the SCOTUS as unconstitutional.

Enoxo on March 15, 2010 at 5:25 PM

The same SCOTUS Obama just dissed a few weeks ago at the SOTU adress?

Irony, delicious irony….

pseudonominus on March 15, 2010 at 6:10 PM

Some of those ideas have merit.
chemman on March 15, 2010 at 5:59 PM

Thanks. I get cross-eyed trying to understand the intricacies of Congressional rules and freely admit I don’t get much, if not most, of it. Other than court challenges (which I would anticipate), I’d love to know what options we have without a veto proof Congress.

Buy Danish on March 15, 2010 at 6:11 PM

I hope people are NOT giving up for the sake of getting this over with. That is exactly what the Libs want—to wear everyone down. To be honest, I think that this will just be one of the first battles that we must fight. We must not come across as a bunch of wussies. Battling for our country will not be for the faint of heart.

mobydutch on March 15, 2010 at 6:13 PM

Is this bill even legal?

This bill has to do with revenue so reconciliation can be used.

The U.S. Constitution states:
Section 7. Clause 1. All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Did this health control bill originate in the House or the Senate?

ROCnPhilly on March 15, 2010 at 6:13 PM

I have to believe this is going to eventually happen. These are Democrats were dealing with here, mafia type whores in nice clothing. These people sitting on the fence are now dealing with the mafia enforcement portion of the party, and in the end they will choose life over political death.

Republicans should definitely run on a platform of reversing everything this administration does; everything! Republicans should also be very vocal and clear that investigations into the closed door meetings are going to take place; investigations, investigations, and accountability for the whores in nice clothing.

Keemo on March 15, 2010 at 6:14 PM

But wasn’t Obama a Constitutional scholar? If he says Slaughter is a go, then its a go. After all, people who call themselves Constitutional scholars know so much more than the rest of us.

ConservativeTony on March 15, 2010 at 6:14 PM

I have spent the whole weekend sending emails to my Congressional representatives and I am sincerely hoping I was not alone in that endeavor.

pilamaye on March 15, 2010 at 6:15 PM

I have spent the whole weekend sending emails to my Congressional representatives and I am sincerely hoping I was not alone in that endeavor.

pilamaye on March 15, 2010 at 6:15 PM

You weren’t, but I’m sure that in the end it won’t matter.

Midas on March 15, 2010 at 6:17 PM

they [the Republicans] would have to promise to get back on health care sometime… they would have to promise to not use a past yes vote against them… they would have to promise bend on some other legislation like immigration reform… so that the Dems(including moderates) won’t go into the next election with nothing much to show…

ninjapirate on March 15, 2010 at 5:15 PM

WOW what a really helpful list… of EVERYTHING the Republicans should NOT DO!!!

God, how gullible do you think people are? The quality of our trolls has really gone down, now that they can hear the train coming.

stefanite on March 15, 2010 at 6:18 PM

But wasn’t Obama a Constitutional scholar? If he says Slaughter is a go, then its a go. After all, people who call themselves Constitutional scholars know so much more than the rest of us.

ConservativeTony on March 15, 2010 at 6:14 PM

LMAO. “Constitutional Scholar”

Maybe he studied his own ‘morning constitution’ but he certainly hasn’t studied the American Constitution.

Key West Reader on March 15, 2010 at 6:20 PM

Can anyone verify the truth of this link? Apparently the Congressional switchboard is being used to push O-Care? http://oneutah.org/2009/09/27/capitol-switchboard-used-to-pitch-obamacare/

RationalIcthus on March 15, 2010 at 6:25 PM

Key West, what DID Obama teach? I thought it was Constitional law, but I could be mistaken.

But if he did, I find it rather odd that nobody has come forward to say, “Hey, I took Obama’s Constitional Law course, and here’s what I’ve learned from him…..”

These former Obama students are about as hard to find as his bc.

ConservativeTony on March 15, 2010 at 6:29 PM

I’ve been saying this for months, they will pass something. They will buy, bribe, blackmail, coerce, steal, cheat, frame, and do whatever they have to do, legal or not. The law doesn’t apply to DemocRATS and hasn’t for years.
There are parts of this monstrosity that cannot be repealed. Even if the spineless Republicans take the House and the Senate, Obama has a veto pen at the ready.
They will come up with the votes necessary or use the Slaughter option.
Wave goodbye to the America most of us grew up in.

mountainmanbob on March 15, 2010 at 6:36 PM

at the end of the day, in order to live with myself, I have to know that I did all I can to stop this.

I voted against my current Pelosi-enabling Dem Congressman (Perriello, 5th CD Va). I am working hard against him now. i’ve called & emailed.

everybody, keep at it. burn the phones. don’t give up now–just a few more days to keep up the push.

kelley in virginia on March 15, 2010 at 6:44 PM

I wonder how the 18 and 19 year old O-bots from 2008 will feel when they get a note from the IRS saying they’re going to jail for not having a Pelosi approved health care plan.

It would all be worthwhile if I could somehow be there when they open that letter.

angryed on March 15, 2010 at 7:02 PM

Called my representative, who is (supposedly) wavering in his opposition.

docob on March 15, 2010 at 7:02 PM

Yahoo news is reporting that the Dems have triggered a countdown to a final vote.

Interesting pressure tactic……..

mad scientist on March 15, 2010 at 7:07 PM

I was thinking this morning that it might not be a bad idea for McConnell and Boehner to pledge publicly that if the bill fails, they’ll make health-care reform their number two priority next year behind jobs. One of the big worries for centrist Dems is that if they vote no this time, health-care reform will be headed for another 16-year legislative limbo. If the GOP can somehow alleviate the “now or never” fear, it might give just enough Blue Dogs the comfort they need.

Damn Allah. That’s impressive. A little fine tuning of the details and that could be a great strategy.

csdeven on March 15, 2010 at 7:11 PM

But wasn’t Obama a Constitutional scholar? If he says Slaughter is a go, then its a go. After all, people who call themselves Constitutional scholars know so much more than the rest of us.
ConservativeTony on March 15, 2010 at 6:14 PM

Yes. As defined in the Affirmative Action Grade Curve rules.

bloviator on March 15, 2010 at 7:19 PM

Democrats are incompetent, corrupt, hated as never before–now’s our big chance to steal their agenda!

I thought federal universal health care was unconstitutional. I thought it would inevitably lead to rationing. I thought it would destroy the budget. I was told it was so awful, so horrible that EVERYTHING else, abortion, the war in Iraq, everything had to take a back seat.

Now it’s got to be a Republican priority!

Go look at that Reagan billboard again. The guy had 10% unemployment, the worst recession since the 1930s, a nuclear showdown with the Soviet bloc and Iranian terrorism. He’s grinning. You clowns are crying into your beer that it’s all beyond you, it’s over, we gotta surrender now to get the best terms…

Anybody who won’t fight this through should quit now. And if they won’t quit they need to be thrown out of office. BEFORE we tackle the “opposing party” with the 20% approval rate.

Chris_Balsz on March 15, 2010 at 7:38 PM

Question: how many Democratic Congressman are calling the GOP this week and offering to switch to a NO on HCR IF the GOP weakens it’s financial support of the Republican challenger this Fall.

My congrersscritter Harry Mitchell wants to go back to DC in the worst way..it’s a waaay better job than being the mayor of Tempe. If he remains a YES in HCR, he’s toast. And burnt toast, at that.

But if the AZ GOP is tight with the purse strings in support of Jim Ward (the likely GOP frontrunner in AZ 5) Harry could squeek out a win on his name recognition and former local popularity.

Those deals can be cut both way, gentleman.

DrW on March 15, 2010 at 7:45 PM

When will this be over….

pseudonominus on March 15, 2010 at 5:07 PM

My sentiments exactly. I feel like i’m in a bizarro world.

BTW, I didn’t see any for/for numbers.

bbordwell on March 15, 2010 at 8:38 PM

Democrats are incompetent, corrupt, hated as never before–now’s our big chance to steal their agenda!

I thought federal universal health care was unconstitutional. I thought it would inevitably lead to rationing. I thought it would destroy the budget. I was told it was so awful, so horrible that EVERYTHING else, abortion, the war in Iraq, everything had to take a back seat.

Now it’s got to be a Republican priority!

Go look at that Reagan billboard again. The guy had 10% unemployment, the worst recession since the 1930s, a nuclear showdown with the Soviet bloc and Iranian terrorism. He’s grinning. You clowns are crying into your beer that it’s all beyond you, it’s over, we gotta surrender now to get the best terms…

Anybody who won’t fight this through should quit now. And if they won’t quit they need to be thrown out of office. BEFORE we tackle the “opposing party” with the 20% approval rate.

Chris_Balsz on March 15, 2010 at 7:38 PM

You are way way out of touch! Republicans are for real improvements in health care laws! All the consensus parts of this bill originated with the Republicans!

It’s all this government take over crap that is the problem! The bill needs to be about 100 pages. And it could cut costs and improve care.

But then of course the unions wouldn’t get paid off and there wouldn’t be in extra money to siphon off to ACORN.

The term “universal” care is stupid and self-defeating. All this bill will do is make us all universally covered by inferior care. Unless of course you have millions of dollars to spend.

Everything the Democrats want put us back into an aristocracy society. The haves and the have nots. Good-bye middle class! Hello rich government bureaucrats, hello poverty for the rest of us.

Can nothing be learned from history?

petunia on March 15, 2010 at 8:39 PM

I wonder how the 18 and 19 year old O-bots from 2008 will feel when they get a note from the IRS saying they’re going to jail for not having a Pelosi approved health care plan.

angryed on March 15, 2010 at 7:02 PM

I’m wondering if the law will even be enforceable. Our jails are already full to bursting with people who are guilty of real crimes, of truly despicable deeds. Mayhap the local and state law enforcement will just say “you wanna jail ‘em, YOU take em to jail. No freaking room here!”

Dark-Star on March 15, 2010 at 10:10 PM

The penalty is not jail, it’s fines, imposed and collected by the IRS. These are freaking liberals- They don’t want your ass, they want your money.

2ipa on March 15, 2010 at 11:00 PM

Kennedy’s seat – GONE

Boxer’s seat – SOON TO BE GONE

And these yahoo’s think they’ll be safe voting “yes”?

Make no mistake, “yes” votes WILL be punished at the ballot box. “No” votes give incumbents a fighting chance at re-election. The only safe “yes” votes are in Pelosi’s and a handful of other districts.

olesparkie on March 16, 2010 at 7:46 AM

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