Big news: Altmire to vote no

posted at 4:40 pm on March 19, 2010 by Allahpundit

A true undecided, who voted yes on the Slaughter strategy yesterday and has been one of the most visible fencesitters thanks to his frequent media hits. But what does it mean?

Congressman Jason Altmire will vote against the latest version of health care reform when the U.S. House of Representatives votes on the bill this weekend.

Altmire confirmed that he has decided to vote no in a telephone conversation with KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano.

The McCandless Democrat is expected to post a statement on his website later today.

Paul Ryan says Pelosi’s still short, but my eeyorish heart puts me in the Ace camp on this. I suspect they have around 205 public yeses — 204 to be exact, according to FDL, although the day is young — and maybe another 20 or so private assurances from vulnerable members who’ve told them they’ll vote yes if need be but would like to avoid it. In that case, the question for Pelosi right now is deciding (a) how many yeses she wants in the final roll (probably a few more than 216 so that no one’s accused of having been the deciding vote), (b) which lucky Blue Dogs she’ll cut loose to vote no, and (c) what sort of deals the others will demand to make this kamikaze vote worth their while. If I’m wrong and this is still genuinely up in the air, then Altmire could be huge as a bellwether for the rest of the centrists. If I’m right, then he’s just a lucky Blue Dog whom they didn’t need. And given that another Blue Dog, Allen Boyd, just flipped from no to yes, I’m feeling like I’m right.

“It’s a coin toss,” says Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) to National Review Online. “We were just on the floor going through whip-check. They still aren’t there yet. It’s narrowed down, from what we can tell, to four or five. Obviously, the numbers favor them, if you compare the pool of undecided votes to how many they need to come over. They only need about 50 percent of the remaining undecideds to break their way. On our side, we need seven votes to defeat this. At this point, we’re really only talking about a handful of votes.

The White House told Bloomberg News this morning that they were six votes short, which probably doesn’t include people like Boccieri who were expected to flip. That jibes with what Dick Morris(!) and the Standard are hearing, but lefty Rep. Stephen Lynch (who’s still momentarily a no) is betting that they’ll have the votes by Sunday or else they wouldn’t risk bringing it to the floor. Exit question: Is that true, though? Boehner said the same thing yesterday, that if Pelosi doesn’t think she has the votes, she’ll pull the bill before the vote happens. I’m not so sure, though. If it’s within four or five votes, why not threaten wavering Dems by forcing them to cast a no ballot and thereby earn the left’s eternal fury?

Update: Here’s Boyd’s statement. Not only is he a Blue Dog, he’s co-chair of the caucus. Follow the leader?

“Throughout this entire debate, I have consistently said that responsible healthcare reform will embody four key principles: it will reduce costs, increase access, ensure patient choice, and not add to the federal deficit,” Boyd said in a statement.

“This bill is not perfect, but I believe it meets these four principles of responsible reform by providing the largest middle class tax credits for healthcare in our nation’s history and preserving a patient’s ability to choose their own doctor.”


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Comment pages: 1 2

You know I rag on Allah a lot, but I have to agree with him on this. I have a feeling that it’s a done deal.

MobileVideoEngineer on March 19, 2010 at 5:19 PM

I think that in future when all of the predictable effects of ObamaCare come true – long lines, reduced quality, increased costs, denied treatments, etc – *anyone* should be allowed to simply smack a liberal any time they want to.

Any idiot in years hence that says “oh my, I never thought this would happen; I never thought it’d cost *that* much; I never thought I’d have to wait to get a doctor’s appointment; can you believe they won’t approve my treatment?” should immediately be smacked.

Midas on March 19, 2010 at 5:19 PM

blatantblue on March 19, 2010 at 5:15 PM

My ex did that in 1990 and 2000. They are going to pay someone to do the job, it might as well be you.

ladyingray on March 19, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Ya know,Liberals should thank their lucky stars,
that HilRod isn’t President,with her Vast LeftWing
Conspiracy Cabal Connections!!

canopfor on March 19, 2010 at 5:20 PM

Breaking: John Barrow, Georgia Dem, is voting no.

Enoxo on March 19, 2010 at 5:12 PM

That was the southern Congressman whose weary staffer I spoke to. Glad to hear it’s official! :-)

Mary in LA on March 19, 2010 at 5:20 PM

What is InTrade showing right now? If its above 80, its over. If it is less than 80, the Republic may yet survive.

Norwegian on March 19, 2010 at 5:06 PM

It’s been right around 80 all day…78-82 range.

angryed on March 19, 2010 at 5:21 PM

You know I rag on Allah a lot, but I have to agree with him on this. I have a feeling that it’s a done deal.

MobileVideoEngineer on March 19, 2010 at 5:19 PM

No matter how we feel, we have to keep calling/faxing/e-mailing/(where possible) marching.

Mary in LA on March 19, 2010 at 5:21 PM

I’ve been seeing the errors at work and I say to myself:

“These are the people that want to take over healthcare?”

Gosh, leave it to the private sector, a group with actual skin in the game and motivation to perform.

blatantblue on March 19, 2010 at 5:22 PM

Is it starting to unravel for the Dems???

My question is, If the Senate bill is Deemed as Passed, why worry about the House Reconciliation Bill? Can’t Nancy just prance over to the Senate and hand them the Deemed Passed Bill? Why all the worries about having 216 Yea Votes?

This doesn’t add up….but we are talking about Dems.

PappaMac on March 19, 2010 at 5:15 PM

I heard about 20 minutes of Rush today and he was talking about this. I got the impression, that it is the opposite. If this passes, the Senate bill passes…the Senate can tell the House to go pound sand. At least that is what I thought he said. This whole thing is so bizarre and confusing and convoluted that I don’t really know what happens next.

Terrye on March 19, 2010 at 5:22 PM

Breaking: John Barrow, Georgia Dem, is voting no.

Enoxo on March 19, 2010 at 5:12 PM

Good to hear. He was always a pretty sure bet for a no. But making it official might just nudge another fence sitter to have the balls to say screw you Nancy.

angryed on March 19, 2010 at 5:22 PM

From The Weekyl Standard, via AOSHQ:

Bart Stupak’s coalition of pro-life Democrats is larger than many had assumed. While Stupak has claimed to have a dozen members willing to flip from “yes” to “no,” most Democrats assumed he only had five. I think Stupak has at least nine Democrats in his coalition. Yes, I know politicians can go back on their word, but House leadership is still frantically trying to cut a deal with Stupak, which indicates they don’t have the votes.

joejm65 on March 19, 2010 at 5:23 PM

I’m going to link this here.

Mid-Day Spine Stiffener

Folks, you are effing [another term for cats]. As of this morning, Pelosi had 192 members “definitely voting yes.” She was 24 votes shy and there were 28 maybes.

After “yeses” from Boyd, Boccieri, Titus, Perriello and a “no” from DeFazio she’s at 195 members voting yes. She’s 21 votes shy and there are 24 maybes left. This isn’t bad. Guess what, puddin’ heads: the race was always going to get tighter before it was finished. Big, giant DUH.

And even as I wrote this, Altmire confirmed that he’s voting no. That brings the maybes down to 23. Guess what, three more declare for us and Pelosi cannot reach 216! Smile, it’s not over yet.

The point is… even if she has the votes and are giving out “Get out of Yes” cards… KEEP UP THE PRESSURE until a vote is called and made.

Enoxo on March 19, 2010 at 5:24 PM

Ooops, that should ready Weekly Standard. Sorry.

joejm65 on March 19, 2010 at 5:24 PM

Two part-timers. One with the census. I know, I know

blatantblue on March 19, 2010 at 5:15 PM

blatantblue: Besides your Cougar Missions,you’ve inflitrated
Big Brother,excellent work BB,James Bond type
adventures,double agent stuff,keep up the good
work!!!:)

canopfor on March 19, 2010 at 5:24 PM

canopfor on March 19, 2010 at 5:24 PM

If I see ANY sort of funny business, I will scream it out to the first open ear

blatantblue on March 19, 2010 at 5:25 PM

At my time, at 4 pm which was 25 minutes ago, Paul Ryan was on Fox Business channel. He had a letter in hand, from the CBO, which he recieved he said 40 minutes earlier.

The CBO pointed out that if you took out certain budgetaries in the bill, the deficit will skyrocket with this bill. This needs to go VIRAL!!!

Ryan said he, and other Republicans are getting this out to as many Democrats as they can now. They need to be told that this entire bill is based on lies, and tricks. Also, Bachman, and King were headed to a vote soon, after they did a quick interview. I’d imagine that they are going to help get that word out as well.

Now…all we can do is hope that these democrats will listen, believe, and not believe voting yes is the best thing for this country.

PRAY!!!

capejasmine on March 19, 2010 at 5:28 PM

I have to work tonight…can’t drink, but first thing I get home tomorrow morning….I’m starting with Irish coffee…

lovingmyUSA on March 19, 2010 at 5:28 PM

No matter how we feel, we have to keep calling/faxing/e-mailing/(where possible) marching.

Mary in LA on March 19, 2010 at 5:21 PM

Mary in LA: Hold the line:)
==============================

Toto – Hold the line (High Quality) – With Lyrics

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfzUv09nIH4&feature=related

canopfor on March 19, 2010 at 5:29 PM

I have to work tonight…can’t drink, but first thing I get home tomorrow morning….I’m starting with Irish coffee…
lovingmyUSA on March 19, 2010 at 5:28 PM

If we survive this drama, I’ll send you a bottle of tequila. Patron Silver. It just works better…

joejm65 on March 19, 2010 at 5:30 PM

canopfor on March 19, 2010 at 5:24 PM
—————————
If I see ANY sort of funny business, I will scream it out to the first open ear

blatantblue on March 19, 2010 at 5:25 PM

blatantblue:Ugh,lose lips sinks ships,(i kid):)

canopfor on March 19, 2010 at 5:33 PM

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=OGU1MWEzM2M3NGRmODY5NWYxYTZmNmM2YWVmZjcyMDg=

Hatch comes out with a warning…

“Prolife Democrats in the House, who supported the Stupak amendment, are coming under intense pressure to vote for the Senate health care bill and are desperately trying to find a way to change those provisions that allow taxpayer funding of abortion. I wish it were that easy. But to my friends in the House, who are looking to pass a fix separately, I have a regrettable piece of news: I tried to include a strict prohibition of federal dollars for elective abortion in the bill in December, but my amendment lost by a vote of 54 to 45. Absent an ironclad guarantee from Senate Democratic Leadership and the White House, which I’ve not seen, the only way to ensure there is no taxpayer funding of abortion is to vote no on the Senate bill. I don’t know many Senate Democrats who’d go along with this.”

ninjapirate on March 19, 2010 at 5:35 PM

I have to work tonight…can’t drink, but first thing I get home tomorrow morning….I’m starting with Irish coffee…

lovingmyUSA on March 19, 2010 at 5:28 PM

No worries. At the rate this thing is spinning, I’ll have had enough for both of us!

JusDreamin on March 19, 2010 at 5:37 PM

Altmire is on Hannity right now and is right now vehemently undecided so I am confused…

He’s saying he has to listen to constituents further and study the Stupak stuff blah blah and waiting on Pelosi language.

He is opposed to reconciliation, though and deem and pass with this bill is the right format and “taints the bill”.

Renwaa on March 19, 2010 at 5:42 PM

eek, deem and pass is the WRONG format. Sorry!

Renwaa on March 19, 2010 at 5:43 PM

If this was the case the whole time, why drag it out? Why not just vote?

Gatsu on March 19, 2010 at 5:45 PM

I have to work tonight…can’t drink, but first thing I get home tomorrow morning….I’m starting with Irish coffee…
lovingmyUSA on March 19, 2010 at 5:28 PM
If we survive this drama, I’ll send you a bottle of tequila. Patron Silver. It just works better…

joejm65 on March 19, 2010 at 5:30 PM

Hey, thanks, but the coffee is just for starters–actually I think this calls for bloody marys….

lovingmyUSA on March 19, 2010 at 5:50 PM

How many tranks and mixed with what does Nancy take to remain so ultra calm through all of this?

jeanie on March 19, 2010 at 5:53 PM

My wife and I are leaving in 5 hours to drive to DC and protest this.

God Bless you! Carry a sign for me, will ya?

evie on March 19, 2010 at 6:00 PM

“The ability to choose their doctor….”

How do these people get elected?

This bill passes… A chunk of MDs will retire….

Others will refuse to take any patient on a gov’t sponsored plan – because they pay like crap. Some people might not like it, but when you have to pay $160K in loans & malpractice insurance… too many gov’t plan patients are a real loser.

Other MDs will start asking for cash up front. (Don’t believe it? It’s already happening in Florida.) Guess who will be able to afford that?

No tort reform? Why go through the headache of training 9 years+ just to start earning money so you can do what you enjoy, and pay off your debts – just to find out that you can’t?

It would have been easier to go to law school, and just start suing doctors. At least that’s how it works in Detroit…

The point is, under these circumstances, it isn’t you who chooses. It becomes how the government plan chooses for you.

Danny on March 19, 2010 at 6:05 PM

I think she’s got the votes already. Now is just showtime.

AnninCA on March 19, 2010 at 6:09 PM

Toto – Hold the line (High Quality) – With Lyrics

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfzUv09nIH4&feature=related

canopfor on March 19, 2010 at 5:29 PM

good one c

cmsinaz on March 19, 2010 at 6:38 PM

good one c

cmsinaz on March 19, 2010 at 6:38 PM

cmsinaz:)

canopfor on March 19, 2010 at 6:43 PM

Altmire a no?I’ll believe it when I see it.
Then I’ll only believe it because Crazy Nancy didn’t need it.

DDT on March 19, 2010 at 8:48 PM

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