Updates on ObamaCare for Saturday morning

Seperately, these may not warrant posts, but together, well … they may still not warrant a post, but I’m writing it anyway.  Expect this to get updated as the day rolls along.


Barrow’s a no:  Rep. John Barrow (D-GA) doesn’t surprise too many by opposing Obamacare:

“I am strongly in favor of reforming the health care system, but I don’t think this bill is going to do it, and therefore I can’t support it.  It puts too much of the burden of paying for it on working folks who are already being overcharged, and that’s not fair.  It threatens to overwhelm Medicaid in Georgia, and that’s not right.  And it barely touches the insurance companies, and that’s not smart.  We can do better and I’m ready to start.”

He’s a Blue Dog in a red state.  If he had voted to support it, that would have been news.

Don’t call us, we’ll call you: Henry Cuellar has caller-ID, and when it says “Axelrod,” he lets it go to voice mail:

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), who’s yet to announce how he’ll vote on a healthcare bill before the House this weekend, said he opted not to respond to Obama administration entreaties on healthcare.

“The White House called, I decided not to return their phone calls,” Cuellar said during an appearance on Fox News. “I’m going to see the president later this afternoon.”

Cuellar is a likely yes.  He voted for the House bill in November but hasn’t been closely associated with pushbacks against the Senate version.  His meeting with Obama today will almost certainly mean he’ll vote with Pelosi, where he’s been expected to land all along.


The Immigrant (Siren) Song: Luis Gutierrez has been a yes, a no, and a maybe for the last couple of weeks.  Now he’s a yes again, as expected … as long as immigration reform comes next:

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), chairman of the Hispanic Caucus Immigration Task Force, said Saturday that he was ensured that the White House would put a renewed focus on comprehensive immigration reform as his vote on the healthcare bill went from “yes” to “no” to “yes” again. …

Gutierrez said his shift to “yes” was influenced by bipartisan efforts at immigration reform that have been blessed by the Obama administration.

“Thursday afternoon we saw the blueprint that was issued by Graham and Schumer,” Gutierrez said. “The White House embraced it … there are other steps that are being taken.”

Did Gutierrez recall that Graham declared immigration reform “dead” if the Senate tried using reconciliation and the House used deem-and-pass?  Or does he just need a little political cover for now?  I’m guessing the latter.

The Chicago Two Way: When two Dems go to war, one is all that Pelosi can score:

Two Chicago Democrats, Rep. Dan Lipinski and Rep. Mike Quigley, are a microcosm of the dilemma for the Obama White House and Democratic House leaders as they head to a Sunday showdown vote.

The anti-abortion Lipinski won’t vote for the measure as it stands. He told me stricter bans are needed to ensure no federal money is channeled to clinics providing abortions or to insurance plans offering abortions. While some Catholic groups have signed on to the Obama plan, the nation’s bishops have not.

And in a surprise to Democratic vote-counters, Quigley, an abortion-rights supporter, said Friday night Obama can’t count on his support if a deal is made with the anti-abortion bloc to get to 216. Moreover, Quigley wants to strip out anti-abortion language already in the legislation.


Which brings us to …

Don’t call us, we’ll call you (reprise): This is either really good news, or really bad news:

A group of pro-choice women just exited the Speaker’s office and said that another vote on the Stupak language is not going to happen.

Reportedly, Bart Stupak canceled a press conference that was supposed to take place at 11 am ET.  That was seen as a signal that he had cut a deal with Nancy Pelosi on getting a vote for reinserting his ban on federal funding for abortions.  It looks as if the pro-abortion caucus has scotched that deal.  That could mean that Pelosi will fall short — or that she doesn’t need Stupak to get to 216.

I Have Had Enough of You!: It seems that Stupak has left the building, so to speak, according to NRO:

Two pro-life GOP members close to Stupak tell NRO that any Stupak deals are off. They just spoke with him and they said he’s finished with Pelosi. They rejected his enrollment corrections proposal.

I’d bet that means that Pelosi figured she’d lose more than she’d gain if she caved to Stupak this time.  That may still mean she has the votes, but the effort to keep Stupak in the fold says Pelosi wasn’t confident of that.

This is an ex-parrot: Was Henry Waxman chortling with glee, or hiding his tears, when he confirmed this?

A top House Democrat says party leaders are unlikely to cut a deal with abortion opponents to pass President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

Rep. Henry Waxman tells The Associated Press that “the likely outcome” is that Speaker Nancy Pelosi will move ahead without the votes of a group of abortion opponents who want tougher restrictions in the bill against taxpayer funding for the procedure.


Waxman is a big abortion supporter, so I doubt he’s unhappy to see Stupak shut down. However, if it kills his health-care bill, Waxman may end up shedding a few tears over the radical nature of the Democrats in protecting future federal funding of abortion.  (via William Amos)

Prepare for the Slaughter: Stacy McCain gets an e-mail from a GOP staffer on the Hill:

UPDATE 11:27 a.m. ET: E-mail from GOP House leadership aide:

See floor schedule for the House today (from Hoyer’s office)… last vote should be 3-ish.  Rules Committee is meeting now to write the rule for tomorrow’s reconciliation bill… we expect it will include the “Slaughter Solution” deeming the Senate bill passed and making Obamacare law. . . .
Things are tight . . . DO NOT let up on your efforts.

Yes, but the vote count is on that bill anyway.  If Pelosi doesn’t have the votes for the reconciliation bill — which is what’s coming to the floor tomorrow — then the Senate bill won’t be “deemed” anything.  We knew the Democrats would stick with the Demon Pass strategy; it’s all they have.

The Liege Lord says yes:  Baron Hill is best known for attempting to live up to his name in telling his constituents that he won’t tolerate them telling him how to run his meetings.  Now Hill has decided that he doesn’t care what they think about ObamaCare, either:


Regarding abortion concerns, I have thoroughly reviewed the language prohibiting federal funding of abortion services and my conscience is clear that both reform bills accomplish the same goal — no taxpayer funds can be used to pay for elective abortions.

When the roll is called, I will proudly cast my vote in support of a bill that covers thirty-two million Americans, allows all Americans to access a private insurance exchange similar to the one offered to me and my colleagues, stops the abusive practices of insurance companies, and accomplishes those goals in a fiscally-responsible manner.

This is no big surprise, either.  Hill was never thought of as a real candidate to stand up to Nancy Pelosi.  Just don’t videotape him making that statement …

Doug Hoffman has a new commercial: Bill Owens owes his seat to the special election in NY-23 and the disastrous selection of Dede Scozzafava by county GOP chairs.  He won’t get to enjoy it long:

Reps. Bill Owens (D-N.Y.) and Baron Hill (D-Ind.) said they would vote for healthcare legislation this weekend, while Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.) said he would vote against it.

Owens ran on skepticism over the ObamaCare plan, then immediately embraced it once he was elected.  This is also not a surprise to anyone except the people in NY-23 who bought his “moderate, independent” schtick last year.


More to come …

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