A look at the 13 key House votes on health reform

by: Chris Bowers

Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 16:40

Representative Mike Doyle came out in favor of the health reform bill today, making the best available vote count on the bill 206 in favor, 209 opposed.  Among the remaining undecideds, there are good reasons to suspect that Representative Nick Rahall (recently received in-district health care funding), along with Representatives Bill Foster and Harry Mitchell (aren't really speaking out against the bill, but are targeted by HCAN), will vote yes.  Or, at the very least, there are good reasons to believe that those three Representatives are not the most difficult, final votes that are needed to pass the health reform bill.

The most difficult potential votes remaining are the following thirteen:

John Barrow (GA-12)
Chris Carney (PA-10)
Travis Childers (MS-01)
Jerry Costello (IL-12)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Lincoln Davis (TN-04)
Brad Ellsworth (IN-08)
Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01)
Jim Matheson (UT-02)
Solomon Ortiz (TX-27)
Earl Pomeroy (ND-AL)
Zack Space (OH-18)
Harry Teague (NM-02)

Unless it can scrounge up votes form the "hard no's" and "lean no's," the leadership will need the support of seven of these thirteen to pass the bill. It isn't going to be easy:

  • A very conservative group. The mean Progressive Punch score for these members on crucial votes in 2009-2010 is only 38.1%, and the median is only 34.3%.  Only three of these thirteen had scores over 40%, and only two had scores over 50%.  No one had a score over 60%.

    These thirteen members vote more like Republicans than like Democrats.

  • Almost universally for Stupak 12 of the 13 voted for the Stupak amendment  Ann Kirkpatrick is the only one of the thirteen who didn't.

    It's a good thing that Stupak amendment can't be changed in reconciliation.  Given the Representatives who are still on the fence, it is pretty easy to see the House leadership just cutting a deal on Stupak to pass the bill.

  • New to Congress  8 of the 13 were first elected in 2004 or later. Two were first elected in 2004 (Barrow and Cuellar).  Three were first elected in 2006 (Carney, Ellsworth, Space).  Three were first elected in 2008 (Childers, Kirkpatrick and Teague).

    While that doesn't seem like money very well spent by the DCCC, it should also be a strong point of leverage.  Any groups who helped them get elected can really put the hammer down this time.

  • Majority voted for the health reform bill in November.  8 of the 13 voted for the health reform bill back in November.  Only Barrow, Childers, Davis, Matheson and Teague did not.
This is a pretty right-wing group, but securing a majority of them it possible.  The key is probably for groups that supported them in 2008, including the White House, to throw the hammer down and make this vote a pre-condition for support in 2010.  They vote more like Republicans than like Democrats, but only have the benefit of being in Congress due to support from Democratic and progressive groups.
Chris Bowers :: A look at the 13 key House votes on health reform

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I think McMahon, Gutierrez, and Acruri are gettable. (0.00 / 0)
If so, then it would make peeling away enough votes from the above 13 much easier.

The Dayden whip count (0.00 / 0)
does not seem to take Gutierrez seriously, which I think is appropriate.  I also think McMahon is properly characterized as "firm no" and Arcuri as "lean no."  Their statements on HCR lately lead me to the same conclusions as Dayden.

[ Parent ]
I posted my thoughts in the thread below (0.00 / 0)
but the Mitchell and Foster revelation changes the math.  So counting Mitchell, Foster and Rahall as yes votes, we need 7 of 14 undecided votes, which sounds a lot better than the 9 of 16 needed 30 minutes ago.

I think we will get Costello, Cuellar, Doyle, and Ortiz, who are pro-life but not politically vulnerable this year.  My sense is that, if they were going to hold firm on the abortion issue, they would have already done so.

I would be shocked if we got any of the undecided "no to yes" voters: Barrow, Childers, Davis, Matheson, or Teague.  Barrow maybe because he does not have a strong challenger this year.  But it's not consistent with his conservative voting record.

That leaves us needing 3 of the remaining 5 "yes to yes" votes: Carney, Ellsworth, Kirkpatrick, Pomeroy, and Space.  I think we'll do that, and we may pick up a few stragglers like Arcuri or Berry who are listed as lean no.

key votes (0.00 / 0)
Hard to see how the deem-and-pass strategy helps get these folks onto the side of passing the Senate bill. This seems to be a group primarily concerned about abortion, not about the cornhusker kickback or the louisiana purchase.

Why couldn't the White House "throw the hammer down" for the public option? (4.00 / 2)
Mandate to buy private insurance, yes.  Public option, NOOOOOO!!!!

That hammer must be in pretty bad shape.  That, or the person actually wielding it.

What hammer? (4.00 / 2)
Just to make John Cole's head explode, if this passes it will be because Pelosi is a vote whipping savant. If it fails it will be because Rahm can't even move a handful of his own conservadem pals...

Self-refuting Christine O'Donnell is proof monkeys are still evolving into humans

[ Parent ]
so what will we do after the bill passes? (0.00 / 0)
i've seen this dynamic before.

Henry Cuellar finally good for something (0.00 / 0)

Dayen (4.00 / 2)
If Dayen's assumptions are all like this:

OFA just sent me a message telling me to call into the district of Republican Dave Reichert in Washington and get supporters of reform to call his office. Now, Dave Reichert is never, ever voting for this bill. Why in the world would any group target him when there are so many other votes out there to get? Probably because OFA is part of the DNC and they don't want to pressure Democrats. Point being, I think I'll de-emphasize targeting in my analysis. The advocacy groups appear to be flying blind.

then I wouldn't take his count too seriously. After spending the last two days with OFA calling into IN-8 to move Conservadem Brad Ellsworth, the presumptive Senate candidate in the fall, I can say for sure that OFA is not afraid of pressuring Democrats.

Adding that in the runup to the Senate vote we did the same thing with Ben Nelson, D-NE.

I don't know why OFA is calling GOP districts today -- the best defense is a good offense is probably the idea -- but I can say for sure it isn't because they're letting the Dems off easy.  

Cris Carney (0.00 / 0)
I call his office daily to tell him to vote NO on this piece of crap. I remind his staff that the "liberals" who want this awful bill passed consider him "the evil Chris Carney" even though he voted no on retroactive immunity and the wonderful
Obama voted yes. He is my congressman.

Kucinich is a YES! (0.00 / 0)
Just announced on Countdown. That makes this lift a good deal easier. :)


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