Now that it has been confirmed the House leadership is going around the Stupak bloc, it appears the Stupak bloc is crumbling. Check out this CQ article where four potential Stupak bloc members disavow their membership:
Charlie Wilson , D-Ohio, who in November supported a Stupak-sponsored abortion amendment to the House-passed health care package ( HR 3962 ) and passage of the amended bill, is among those who has reconsidered his position. He said Thursday he is willing to vote for the Senate bill. Wilson said that while he would welcome any additional guarantee that no federal funds would be used to pay for abortions, he will not withhold his support if the bill is not changed.
"I'm opposed to abortion, and I think the language in there is pretty clear that it is not something that pays for abortion," he said [...]
Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, said she wanted the abortion language changed, but stopped short of saying it is a deal-breaker for her. "I would not easily give over my vote for the bill" if changes are not made, she said.
An aide to James L. Oberstar , also previously thought to be in Stupak's group, said the Minnesota Democrat is undecided. "He hasn't ruled out anything, including voting for the Senate bill if that's an interim step to a better compromise," said spokesman John Schadl.
A spokesman for Steve Driehaus , an Ohio Democrat, said his boss has not changed his position opposing federal funding for abortion but had not decided how to vote. "He'll decide how he'll vote once he knows exactly what the House will be considering," press secretary Tim Mulvey said in an e-mail.
Unless a member of Congress says they will vote against the bill without the Stupak amendment, then that member of Congress is not in the Stupak bloc. These four members--Dreihaus, Kaptur, Oberstar and Wilson--all equivocate here. There is simply no "Stupak or else" language coming from their offices. They are not Stupak bloc.
As such, here is an update to the Stupak bloc whip chart:
Seemingly Stupak bloc (6)
Marion Berry (AR-01)
Joseph Cao (LA-02)
Kath Dahlkemper (PA-03)
Joe Donnelly (IN-02)
Dan Lipinski (IL-03)
Bart Stupak (MI-01)
Possible Stupak bloc (8)
Chris Carney (PA-10)
Jerry Costello (IL-12)
Mike Doyle (PA-14)
Brad Ellsworth (IN-08)
Baron Hill (IN-09)
Alan Mollohan (WV-01)
Solomon Ortiz (TX-27)
Nick Rahall (WV-03)
Not Stupak bloc (8)
Steve Driehaus (OH-01)
Paul Kanjorski (PA-12)
Marcy Kaptur (OH-09)
Dale Kildee (MI-05)
Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01)
Jim Oberstar (MN-08)
Charlie Wilson (OH-06)
The most significant shift comes from Steve Driehaus, who had told The Hill he was in the Stupak bloc. Apparently that wasn't true. This reminds me of something Matthew Yglesias tweeted earlier today:
Dem public option doubletalk highlights weakness of netroots "whip count" strategies -- Senators are very willing to lie.
Apparently, they can lie about holding to their right-wing demands, too. Or call it "wiggle" room, if you will. Whatever you call it, one thing I have learned over the past few years is that many members of Congress, especially the moderate ones, are not leaders. They avoid taking public positions, leave themselves tons of wiggle room, and outright flip their positions all the time. It definitely is a weakness of the whip counts, but it is still useful to try that shine a light on Congress through those counts.
Update: Via lifeofriley in the comments, Kanjorski is out, too.