In a surprise to many political watchers, Democratic leaders now think that Loretta Sanchez (CA) could vote against the bill. Roll Call reports:
Sanchez was nowhere to be found on Saturday — she was in Florida on a fundraising jaunt, two Democratic sources said — and while leaders expected her to return for the Sunday vote on final passage, they weren’t assured. What’s more, leaders now list the Orange County Democrat as a “no” vote...
But Sanchez has demonstrated some hesitance to supporting health care reform, joining 14 other Democrats who voted against the rule governing debate on the House bill back in November. She ended up supporting final passage of the measure, but she was the last Democrat to vote, and did so only after coaxing from leadership. The House bill passed with unanimous support from the 34 Democrats in the California delegation. And after Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.) affirmed on Saturday he will support the Senate-passed version and a package of fixes, Sanchez was the lone Golden State Democrat apparently still mulling a vote against the bill.
The White House and Democratic leaders have been working Sanchez in recent days, with Obama calling her on Friday, according to a Democratic aide. And the pro-reform group Organizing for America on Saturday asked its members in her district to call her office and register support. One source said leaders expect they can flip her vote on the floor, if it comes to that.
And if she shows up.
One wonders if she'll try to avoid this vote totally. Sanchez usually wins her district handily, but Jane Hamsher* suggests she may be facing a tougher re-election contest than usual this year. Bush and Schwarzenegger won her district in 2004 and 2006, respectively.
Many had assumed she'd vote in favor of the bill. Are some Democrats starting to get cold feet?