The Hill’s “Whip Count” on ObamaCare – GOP Picking Up Votes
posted at 10:16 pm on March 15, 2010 by Dafydd ab Hugh
In our last installment on Saturday, we were able to report the following:
The Hill newspaper is published daily in the nation’s capital while Congress is in session, which is unfortunately true right now. They’ve been publishing a daily (or so) whip-count; that is, the Democratic and Republican leaders tell the Hill how many votes they think they have, and the paper makes the final judgment (presumably after talking to some of the waverers).
In the count published today, here’s how we stand:
- All 178 Republicans will vote Nay.
- 34 of the Democrats are firm, leaning, or likely Nays; this includes eight Democrats who voted Yea the last time around in November.
- 147 Democrats are firm, leaning, or likely Yeas.
- The remaining 72 Democrats are “undecided.”
That puts the current count at 147 Yea, 212 Nay, with 72 toss-ups. Note that a majority is currently 216, since there are only 431 members of the House right now.
In today’s whip-count, we see some movement — and astonishingly, considering all the proclamations of Obamic victory, it’s in the right direction!
- All 178 Republicans will vote Nay.
- 37 of the Democrats are firm, leaning, or likely Nays, three more than last time.
- 146 Democrats are firm, leaning, or likely Yeas (one fewer than Saturday).
- The remaining 70 Democrats are “undecided” (two fewer).
That’s 146 Yeas, 215 Nays, with 70 ditherers, and majority is still 216.
In other words, ObamaCare is just one vote shy of defeat in the House… with 70 votes still up for grabs. We must win over one more Democrat — before they win over 70: If Democrats lose even one more congressman, the bill dies.
I still have full faith and confidence in the American people; we have proven ourselves to be steadfast in our rejection of a radical rewrite of all health-insurance rules. The danger is not the American people but rather the Democratic majority, which might still trample the people down with hobnail boots.
But more and more, it appears that simple self-interest will kill this wretched act; simply put, most United States Representatives like their jobs and want to keep them.
But even if the worst happens, even if the Dems suddenly reverse the momentum and end up eking out a marginal victory, I still believe that we can repeal ObamaCare — despite the fact that (as I am reliably informed) no major new government social bureaucracy has ever been “uncreated.” Think of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
Why am I so positive? First, because the reliable claim is not particularly reliable; for one example, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) was an FDR-era welfare entitlement created, as Aid to Dependent Children, as part of the Social Security Act of 1935. Yet it was repealed in 1996, to be replaced with a radically different and far more temporary welfare program titled Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
Even the New Republic has recently hailed the repeal of AFDC and enactment of TANF instead [hat tip Wikipedia, of all sites]; TNR editorial of September 4, 2006, p. 7; the piece appears not to be available online:
A broad consensus now holds that welfare reform was certainly not a disaster–and that it may, in fact, have worked much as its designers had hoped.
But the second reason I am convinced that ObamaCare can be repealed is that it differs significantly from all other social-welfare, social-control bureaucracies enacted by Congress — including AFDC. Unlike all the others, ObamaCare is not supported by voters; it is vehemently opposed by large margins.
If President Barack H. Obama’s scheme is finally enacted, it will be over the earsplitting objections of the American people. By contrast, programs such as Social Security and Medicare were wildly popular when they were enacted — and most retain strong majority support even today.
We have never before enacted such wholesale change in the balance between government and governed — when the bill itself was so intensely unpopular; I daresay it’s the most unheard-of thing I ever heard of. For that reason, I simply do not believe it will be passed; but even if it is, I do not believe it will survive long in the 112th Congress.
So hip hip, chin chin, and keep your welly up. Courage, Camille. This too shall pass away!
Cross-posted on Hot Air’s rogues’ gallery…