House Democratic leaders are obviously pleased by Dennis Kucinich’s vote switch and some other recent developments. But I continue to stress that the move of one member of Congress will not lock in the bill. In fact, there have been other developments today which should discourage supporters:
• I locked in Jason Altmire as a yes last week, but his concerns with the deem and pass strategy as well as putting student loan reform in the bill force me to take him out of that camp and back into the undecided pool. Altmire has gotten the maximum value out of his hand-wringing, appearing on virtually every news program in America the last couple weeks. I think he loves the attention. But he definitely sounds more pessimistic this week than last week.
• While Marcy Kaptur did vote the reconciliation package out of the House Budget Committee, yesterday she voted with Republicans on a kind of “Stupak amendment,” a motion to instruct the Rules Committee on the abortion language. She also downplayed the Catholic hospitals’ support of health care reform, saying that it may be for “business reasons” (perhaps the support of Catholic nuns would sway her). Also:
Kaptur said she’s spoken to Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI), another pro-life Dem who’s signed off on the Senate’s abortion language, but didn’t find his reasons persuasive.
I had her at lean yes because of her committee vote, but even her article in The Hill yesterday put her at undecided for multiple reasons. Back into that camp she goes.
• A constituent of Lincoln Davis’ pegs him as a hard No, which is frankly not surprising. He voted No last time and has avoided making any public statement whatsoever.
• If teabaggers who rallied at the Capitol are to be believed, my skepticism of putting Sanford Bishop back to undecided has been validated. But they also apparently got John Barrow to commit to a no vote. It’s difficult to tell from their descriptions, but I’m leaving things the same on both counts. MoveOn is targeting Barrow, who already has a progressive primary challenger.
• MoveOn’s other targets are familiar: Scott Murphy, Suzanne Kosmas, Mike McMahon, Allen Boyd, and Bart Stupak. But HCAN has added to their pro-reform ad buy in more districts, including a couple which were off the board: Gary Peters (MI-09) and Melissa Bean (IL-08). Peters, a freshman Dem, has not said much about the health care bill and is listed as a Yes by the Washington Post’s new interactive graphic. Bean, leader in the New Dems, saw a fight erupt outside her district office among protesters yesterday. I don’t know what to make of this, but I feel Bean, at least, would have the capacity to vote no, so I’ll put her in the undecided category.
Where does that leave us? Kucinich and Kirkpatrick are Yes votes, Altmire goes back to undecided, Kaptur from lean Yes to undecided, Lincoln Davis is a No, Bean’s back to undecided.
Meaning that we’re still at 191-206, right where we were the last time. If you push leaners, we’re at 205-209. Still lots of work for the leadership to do. And where’s that CBO score?
The full totals on the flip. . . .
191 Democrats, including Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who voted No last time, in November.
178 Republicans, including Joseph Cao (R-LA), who voted Yes in November. He’s in the Stupak bloc.
23 Democrats who voted No in November:
Bobby Bright, Mike McIntyre, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Walt Minnick, Artur Davis, Chet Edwards, Frank Kratovil, Mike Ross, Dan Boren, Gene Taylor, Larry Kissell, Collin Peterson, Ike Skelton, Jim Marshall, Mike McMahon, Charlie Melancon, Tim Holden, Ben Chandler, Health Shuler, Rick Boucher, Allen Boyd, John Adler, Lincoln Davis.
5 Democrats who voted Yes in November (confirmed Stupak bloc):
Bart Stupak, Dan Lipinski, Kathy Dahlkemper, Joe Donnelly, Steve Driehaus.
13 potential Democratic No-Yes flip votes:
7 lean Yes:
Bart Gordon, Brian Baird, John Boccieri (Clyburn Three), Suzanne Kosmas, Betsy Markey, Scott Murphy, John Tanner.
Jim Matheson, Harry Teague, Travis Childers, John Barrow, Jason Altmire.
1 lean No:
21 potential Yes-No flip votes:
5 additional Stupak bloc (Stupak-curious):
Brad Ellsworth, Jerry Costello, Henry Cuellar, *Marion Berry, Marcy Kaptur.
7 lean Yes:
Paul Kanjorski, Dina Titus, Betty Sutton, Baron Hill, Allan Mollohan, Bill Owens, Tom Perriello.
8 other undecided Democrats:
Zack Space, Chris Carney, Nick Rahall, Solomon Ortiz, Earl Pomeroy, Bill Foster, Harry Mitchell, Melissa Bean.
2 lean No:
Mike Arcuri, Marion Berry.
Democrats need 25 of a combination of the 13 potential No-Yes flip votes and the 21 potential Yes-No flip votes. So they need 25 out of the remaining uncommitted 34. If you’re counting leaners, Democrats need 11 of the last 17 uncommitted.