Bart Stupak not only says that the dozen members in his coalition aren’t “really” wavering, the Democratic Congressman also says that abortion isn’t the only problem with the final ObamaCare push. Stupak notes that there are “250” bills passed by the House languishing in the Senate, and wonders why anyone would assume the Senate would act any more enthusiastically on a reconciliation bill. He also emphasized with Greta van Susteren that Democratic leadership has turned this into Let’s Make a Deal — and that Stupak wants 72 hours after the reconciliation bill gets written before any vote on the Senate bill:
VAN SUSTEREN: Last time we spoke, you were — if I may be so bold to say, you said that you were not going to vote for what you saw as the bill that was coming your way. Has your position changed since last week?
REP. BART STUPAK, D – MICH.: No, it’s not changed at all. We’re still not planning on voting for health care unless we can address some concerns. As I said before, there’s many concerns with this bill, especially with the House — with our vote, we sort of pass the Senate bill without any amendments. It goes to the president, he signs it, and then we have to do reconciliation. What if reconciliation does not get through? I mean, I’m sure we can pass it in the House, but what about the Senate?
Members of the House are very uncomfortable, in a way, voting on a piece of legislation and you don’t know — going to be corrected by the Senate. We have over 250-some pieces of legislation sitting in the Senate, waiting for them to pass it. Is this going to be another one?
On the numbers:
VAN SUSTEREN: … where we stand on the numbers in terms of how far away is Speaker Pelosi?
STUPAK: On my 12?
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, not…
STUPAK: Oh, you mean for the whole bill.
VAN SUSTEREN: Right.
STUPAK: Hard to say. I would only guesstimate on my side — I’m not in there counting votes with them. But I’d be surprised if they have 200 votes.
VAN SUSTEREN: Two hundred?
STUPAK: Yes. They need 216. I’d be surprised if they have 200.
However, on that point, a note of caution. If they don’t have more than 200 now, it may be that some Democrats are holding out for their own version of the Cornhusker Kickback and not withholding support for any other purpose. Stupak sees the CBO score as the watershed event, but the CBO can’t score the bill until Pelosi finally hollows out the shell and starts filling it with legislative language and pork.