You can see the last whip count here. Changes since Friday:
• House leaders have a firm target date for a vote, and have begun to whip the bill. But for the first time today, James Clyburn admitted that he doesn’t have the votes at the moment, although he claims he will in the near future. “No we don’t have them as of this morning but we’ve been working this thing all weekend,” Clyburn said on Meet The Press. Over the weekend Nancy Pelosi expressed similar confidence.
However, in a lesser-publicized McClatchy article, Clyburn for the first time gave some insight into who he is targeting, naming four Congressmen who previously voted No in November:
Clyburn took the unusual step of naming four former Democratic opponents who he’s hopeful are preparing to vote for the reform legislation: Reps. Brian Baird of Washington state, Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania, Bart Gordon of Tennessee and John Boccieri of Ohio.
“That’s four people right there who voted no before,” Clyburn said. “Why don’t we talk about them? Everyone’s talking about who we might lose.”
You have to put the “Clyburn Four” into a bloc of no votes leaning yes. And I think you could add at least two more. A local paper in Cooperstown, NY, reports that Scott Murphy may vote for the bill. Murphy was a no last time, but he expresses in this article a desire to vote yes. I would also add Betsy Markey, who got some help when leadership had her sponsor the bill repealing the insurance industry’s anti-trust exemption. I think clearly that was given to her as a way to entice her into voting yes.
• CNN pegs Heath Shuler as a sure no. That sounds right to me.
• Among other former No votes, Rick Boucher says he won’t vote for anything that cuts Medicare heavily, and he tags the Senate bill as doing so. I wouldn’t count on his vote, but I’ll put him in the “lean no” category for now. Allen Boyd belongs there as well, especially because he voted against the student loan reform bill which will be folded into the reconciliation sidecar.
• The Stupak 6 looks pretty set. Marion Berry (D-AR) took the unusual step of introducing his own health care bill out of nowhere this week, a sign that he’s setting up some excuse of “I had my own bill.” He’s in the Stupak bloc. Kathy Dahlkemper sounds a bit more uncommitted in this local story, but her spokesman says “She was opposed to the Senate abortion language. Period,” and nothing’s being done to change that. Dahlkemper may be holding out for some promise of accompanying legislation, but she sure looks like a no to me.
• Then there’s the strange case of Henry Cuellar. The wacked-out Investor’s Business Daily put him in the Stupak bloc, and other media outlets followed, as well as Minority Whip Eric Cantor. But Cuellar’s office actually called that “An unauthorized statement” that had no “credible facts or consultation with Congressman Cuellar or his staff.” The statement ended with Cuellar’s office pronouncing him undecided on the bill, so I will add him to the undecided, Stupak-curious bloc.
• Brad Ellsworth and Baron Hill remain undecided.
• Jim Oberstar, as I predicted in the last whip count, is a yes.
• Paul Kanjorski, in this interview with The Motley Fool, absolutely sounds like a yes, though this interview was made before Democratic leaders decided to add the student loan reform to the reconciliation bill. Kanjorski voted against the student loan bill straight-up the first time, so I’m moving him to lean-yes, not yes yet.
• Dennis Cardoza, on the other hand, sounds like a yes, along with his Central Valley colleague Jim Costa. They talk about the uninsured in their districts enough to probably not say no to the bill. There was a rider for hospital funding in the area that secured their support last time, which doesn’t appear in the Senate bill, but both of these members have been to the White House and presumably got assurances about such funding coming up later.
• As for Luis Gutierrez, a public “no” the past few days, I’m with Lynn Sweet. He’s using leverage right now but he’ll be on the bill in the end. David Axelrod addressed the immigration provisions at the heart of Gutierrez’ complaint today, saying that the health care bill will not address the issue of the undocumented, but a future bill could. Incidentally, Sweet pegs Jerry Costello (D-IL) in the Stupak-curious category.
Where does that leave us? Add Cardoza to the Yes side and subtract Cuellar and we’re back where we started: 191 Yes votes. Add Shuler to the No side and it’s 203 No votes. There are seven “lean-yes” in the undecided side, and two “lean-no”. So if you pushed leaners, I’d put it at 198-205.
Raw totals on the flip:
178 Republicans, including Joseph Cao (R-LA), who voted Yes in November. He’s in the Stupak bloc.
20 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, Dennis Kucinich, Collin Peterson, Ike Skelton, Jim Marshall, Mike McMahon, Charlie Melancon, Tim Holden, Ben Chandler, Health Shuler.
5 Democrats who voted Yes in November (confirmed Stupak bloc):
Bart Stupak, Marion Berry, Dan Lipinski, Kathy Dahlkemper, Joe Donnelly.
17 potential Democratic No-Yes flip votes:
6 lean Yes:
Jason Altmire, Bart Gordon, Brian Baird, John Boccieri (Clyburn Four), Scott Murphy, Betsy Markey
Glenn Nye, John Tanner, Suzanne Kosmas, John Adler, Lincoln Davis, Jim Matheson, Harry Teague.
4 less possible:
Travis Childers, John Barrow, Allen Boyd, Rick Boucher.
20 potential Yes-No flip votes:
5 additional Stupak bloc (Stupak-curious):
Steve Driehaus, Brad Ellsworth, Marcy Kaptur, Jerry Costello, Henry Cuellar.
15 other wary Democrats:
Mike Arcuri, Zack Space, Chris Carney, Mike Doyle, Paul Kanjorski (lean yes), Ann Kirkpatrick, Alan Mollohan, Nick Rahall, Dan Maffei, Bill Owens, Baron Hill, Solomon Ortiz, Gabrielle Giffords, Earl Pomeroy, Tim Bishop.
Democrats need 25 of a combination of the 17 potential No-Yes flip votes and the 20 potential Yes-No flip votes. So they need 25 out of the remaining uncommitted 37.