Does He Have the Votes?

by Sal on March 4, 2010

in Politics,Right to Life

Does Obama even have the votes to pass ObamaCare via reconciliation?  Interestingly enough, the problem may lie in the House, not in the Senate.  Obama has decided to go all-in with reconciliation, but now he must convince his own caucus in the House to unite around a single bill.

The original ObamaCare proposal passed the house with 220 votes (217 were required).  Since then, there have been several retirements and the lone GOP has announced that he would switch his vote the next time around, leaving Pelosi one vote short if everyone else votes the same way.  The final House bill, however, was also somewhat of a compromise between Pro-life Democrats and Progressives.  Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), an ardent pro-life Democrat, led the charge and won a complete, explicit restriction on abortion in the House bill.  Progressives in the House grudgingly accepted it due to the fact that the House bill contained a public option.  Now, the Senate bill (which is what the Obama Administration claims they are using going forward) has far fewer restrictions on abortion, as well as no public option.  Both the Pro-lifers and Progressives find this unacceptable.

Bart Stupak claims he has 12 former supporters of the bill who will vote “No” unless his original amendment is inserted back into the bill.  Additionally, several Progressives are now indicating they may vote “No” because they are upset that the Public Option is not in the bill, and that Obama has added a few Republican ideas (even though they are only token inclusions for show).  ObamaCare’s fate is by no means sealed.  The fight over these two issues is going to intensify in the coming weeks, and it may ultimately be the abortion issue that sinks the bill.  We shall see.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ryan March 4, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Think about the Obama presidency if the following happens: he rams through ObamaCare in the Senate, permanently burning ANY bridge to GOP cooperation until at least January 2013, and because of abortion and a series of other problems it does not pass the House since (as you note) both pro-life Dems and Progressives yearning for more refuse to pass it.

It’d be like a Liberal Armageddon! Talk about embracing one’s inner lame duck this early! We’re watching the Progressive-wing of the Democrat Party tear themselves (and pieces of the Constitution) up right before our eyes.

They know this, however, so this bill ain’t dead by any means — I still believe that at the end of the day something passes, but each day that impending “something” seems less horrific as the Obama Nation remains at its low-level civil war.


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