UPDATE, 4p: Per National Review Online, about 30 minutes ago:
In a press conference on Capitol Hill today, Rep. David Dreier (R., CA), ranking Republican on the House Rules Committee, said the word around the House is that Democrats are still about 10 votes away from securing the 216 they will need to pass changes to the health-care bill. Dreier added that that number might be moving in the wrong direction for Democrats.
“You are hearing that people are peeling off,” he said….
Have I mentioned yet to make your calls?
3:44p: Drudge is calling the above picture posted in yesterday’s New York Times President Obama’s “resurrection” photo. We shall see….
Speaking of, well, hoo-rah. Supposedly, Obama today gave his final speech pushing socialized healthcare on the American people.
Have you placed your Call, fax, Twitter, and email to your rep today, letting him or her know to vote “NO” on Obamacare?! Lives hang in the balance.
Digressing a tad, I agree with Kathryn Jean Lopez today that Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser’s op ed in yesterday’s Washington Post was not only ill-timed but off-base. This is the 1st time I can recall disagreeing with my friend Marjorie. Rather, I’ve been quite pleased by congressional leaders’ outspoken and persistent opposition to public funding in Obamacare, namely Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and Mike Pence, to name just some. Bravo!
Meanwhile, Jeffrey Anderson in an excellent piece in today’s National Review Online, considers Obamacare in “critical condition”:
If Obamacare’s opponents keep up the pressure on wavering House Democrats, victory is within our grasp. Obamacare faces 3 major hurdles to passage….
You might reasonably assume that these are as follows: It’s a colossally bad bill; it’s an extremely unpopular bill; and members of Congress – despite what President Obama apparently thinks – do care about getting reelected. While you’d be right on all 3 counts, I’m talking about more specific hurdles related to the concrete numbers in the House.
Things have changed. The Democrats need every member of their caucus who voted “yes” last time to vote “yes” again – or, for every defection, they need to convert a prior “no” vote to their side. They don’t have a single vote to spare.
Yet a lot has changed since the previous House vote. When House Democrats voted before, they were voting on their own bill, not a Senate bill filled with infamous kickbacks and other provisions that differ from what House members wanted. They were voting on a bill that contained the Stupak Amendment to preserve the longstanding tradition of protecting taxpayers from having their money spent on abortions. And they were voting back when Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat looked to be safely in Democratic hands. All of this has changed.
They need 2/3 of our 40. Andy Wickersham and I have listed the 40 Democrats we think are the most key to passage or defeat. Assuming that all other Democratic members vote the same way as last time – and that all Republicans vote “no” (as they will) – the Democrats need 27 of these 40 to vote “yes” in order to pass the bill. This is a high bar when you consider that 35 of these 40 reside in Republican territory – many of them solidly so – and 24 supported the Stupak Amendment.
Early returns aren’t good for Obamacare supporters. The Hill currently lists only one of these 40 as leaning “yes”… and 10 – 5 prior “yes” votes, 5 prior “no” votes – as leaning “no”…
Other Democrats are more likely to swing against Obamacare than for it. Beyond these 40, the Democrats are far more likely to lose additional members who voted “yes” last time than they are to convert additional members who previously voted “no”…
So, overall, how are President Obama and Speaker Pelosi doing? If members vote how The Hill projects they would as of now, the Democratic leadership would have a won-lost record of 1 and 10 so far among our 40 key members. They need to go 27 and 13 overall, so they would have to go 26 and 3 the rest of the way. But since four other members (from outside of our 40) who previously voted “yes” are also leaning “no,” the Democratic leadership would therefore have to go a perfect 29 and 0 among the rest of our 40 — and also convert one other member from The Hill’s “no” list back to “yes.”
Obamacare is on the ropes. Let’s keep contacting key Democratic members and deliver the knockout blow.
[HT for Obama NYT photo: commenter Mary]