Healthcare Whip Report
As of 8:15 pm, Fox News says there are 217 votes in the House of Representatives in favor of passage of the Democratic healthcare reform bill (216 are necessary for passage). National Review Online is reporting that a Maryland Congressman has said that he’s “not sure” that the Democratic leadership needs the the Bart Stupak pro-life bloc in order to pass its bill.
On the other hand, the liberal website Firedoglake has posted its own tally of “unknowns”. According to the numbers there, the Democrats have to pick up all 10 of the Congressmen listed as unknown (Rep. Jim Matheson has already gone “no”) plus at least 2 of 10 from the Stupak bloc, in order for the healthcare bill to pass. A few hours ago, they had Zack Space of Ohio listed in their Potential Yes-No flips (he is now a “no”), so there seems to be something to their breakdown.
National Review Online, as of 8:15, says the current tally is 208-214 with 9 undecideds. That’s close to the Firedoglake result, if you count the 10 Stupak bloc members as “no” votes.
If the Dems do have more than they need, Zack Space would be good choice to release, as Firedoglake notes that his district was +7 Republican in the Presidential election.
I have no idea what information is fully reliable, and what’s being put out (by the politicos, not the news sources) for tactical purposes.
UPDATE I (8:33 PM):
Since I posted the original item, Fox news is now reporting 218 votes in favor of passage.
UPDATE I-B (10:07 PM):
Fox is back to 217-214 in favor. The New York Times also has a tracker up and is reporting the current state of affairs as 207-206 with 18 undecided.
UPDATE III (11:59 PM):
Glenn Nye of Virginia, a potential No-to-Yes Flip on the Firedoglake list has told his local paper he is a “no”. If I’m counting this right, the Firedoglake tally is 204 Yes, 208 No, 9 generic unknowns, and 10 undecided members in the Stupak pro-life bloc. Passage now requires 3 members of the pro-life bloc to support the bill, if all 9 of the other unknowns decide “yes”.
FDL is also indicating that a current “yes” has switched to “no”, but the Congressperson hasn’t said it herself yet.
UPDATE III-B (12:12 AM):
And Fox is now at 216-215. The New York Times has apparently gone to bed for the evening. Clearly, they’ve never heard Huey Lewis’ The Heart of Rock and Roll.
UPDATE IV (1:15 AM):
Solomon Ortiz of Texas has issued a statement saying he will vote “yes”, taking himself off of Firedoglake‘s potential Yes-To-No list. Let’s call it 205 Yes, 208 No, 8 generic unknowns, 10 members of the pro-life group.
UPDATE V (1:32 AM):
One more, and I’m done for the evening. Bart Stupak in Roll Call says that he has six votes in his pro-life group…
Stupak, who once spoke for a dozen Democrats who were prepared to vote against the bill unless his strict abortion restrictions on insurance coverage were adopted, told reporters Saturday that his group was down to six, and he did not know if that would be enough to block the bill.Working off of the Firedoglake list, I think the implication is that the Democratic leadership can pass the bill by finding some compromise (an executive order?) softer than the full Stupak amendment that would satisfy four of the members of the pro-life bloc, plus get support from 5 out of 8 of the generic undecideds.