Saturday, February 27, 2010

Battle Lines

The New York Times has a survey of the two blocks of Democrats that Nancy Pelosi must deal with if the latest version of Obamacare is to pass the house: the foes of abortion and fiscal moderates.

In the House, lawmakers like Mr. Kratovil and Mr. Cardoza, and other swing Democrats like them, will come under increasing scrutiny from leadership as a vote draws near. Of the 219 Democrats who initially voted in favor of the House measure, roughly 40 did so in part because it contained the so-called Stupak amendment, intended to discourage insurers from covering abortion.

Some, notably Representative Bart Stupak, the Michigan Democrat for whom the amendment is named, will almost certainly switch their yes votes to no because the new version being pushed by Mr. Obama would strip out the House bill’s abortion restrictions in favor of Senate language that many of them consider unacceptable.

An additional 39, like Mr. Kratovil, are fiscal conservatives who voted no the first time around. Ms. Pelosi is hoping that she can get some to switch those no votes to yes in favor of Mr. Obama’s less expensive measure.

Those are potentially 80 or so votes in play. If opponents of Obamacare can pick off at least a few more votes, and keep the 39 Democrats who voted against the health-care bill last year, they could stop this bill. Democratic Rep. Jason Altmire (PA) has some words that might encourage Obamacare opponents:
“I don’t know of any no votes at this point that would switch unless the bill is substantially changed, including me,” he said. “And I know of a handful of yes votes who regret it and would relish the opportunity to put a no vote on the board so they could go back home and talk about that.”

No comments:

Post a Comment