HEALTH REFORM PASSES THE HOUSE

My updates will appear in the twitter feed on the right.

–Reconciliation bill passes the House.  It will be sent to the Senate as soon as President Obama signs Senate bill into law.

–GOP motion to recommit, using Stupak language, has been defeated.

–Senate health care bill passes the House 219-212.  It can now be signed into law by President Obama. Roll Call vote here.

This post has been modified from earlier versions

Vote on the rule passes the House, 224-206; harbinger of final vote

Update 8:38 p.m.: Nate Silver has the differences between how folks were committed, and how they voted on the rule:

Among those Democrats projected to vote NO on final passage, five voted YES on the procedural vote: Jason Altmire, Marion Berry, Larry Kissell, Collin Peterson, and Harry Teague.

Among the four Democrats that the Times listed as undecided, Jerry Costello voted YES, but Rick Boucher, Dan Lipinski and Lincoln Davis (whom other sources regard as a solid no) voted NO. Bobby Rush, who was technically undecided as of this morning but was not listed by the Times that way, voted YES.

Harry Mitchell, projected to vote yes on final package, voted NO on the rules bill.

That projects to 218-220.

Update 2: Pelosi says Senate bill vote after 10 pm. Reconciliation after 11 pm.  All times eastern.

Update: At least three Dems who have announced they will oppose the bill–Tanner, Teague, Altmire–voted for the rule.  Final vote on Senate bill will get 221 or fewer supporters.

****

The House just passed the rules of debate on the reconciliation bill, 224-206, with one member not voting.  The final vote will be very similar.  A couple of Dems might drop off in the belief that it will somehow help them win re-election.

(Update–The roll call has now been posted on line, and can be found here.)

The debate will last for two hours.  Vote on the reconciliation bill will happen no earlier than 8:30 p.m., eastern.

If there are 224 votes in favor of the bill now, then either they didn’t need the Stupak bloc, or the bloc was larger than the 6 reported yesterday.

This is an open thread for the ongoing debate.  Watch it live online at C-SPAN.

More health reform updates

Zach Space a no

After a wave of otherwise good news today for the Democratic leadership, Zach Space becomes a “yes to no.”  Dang.

Stupak bloc down to 6?

Both Roll Call and The Hill are reporting the Stupak bloc is down to only six members.  Their sources are Bart Stupak and Marcy Kaptur.

If true–and that is a big if-then it is fantastic news.  In such a scenario, David Dayen posits that the leadership would only need one more “no to yes” vote to secure passage (although, now with Zach Space, two more “no to yes” votes would be needed).

However, until the four to six members who have supposedly left the group actually make some public statements in support of passage, I will remain wary.

Voting will start around 3pm, eastern, tomorrow

MSNBC gives us the timing for tomorrow’s action:

From the House Democratic Caucus meeting, this from House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (D-CT). He says “shortly after 2, we will have an hour of debate on the rule.” This is the rule to allow reconcilation to get to the floor.

They would then vote on the rule, sans deem and pass. He then says there will then be “two hours of debate on the bill.”

The third vote, on the Senate bill, will take place sometime later in the day.  If it succeeds, President Obama will sign it into law that night.

With Syracuse playing Gonzaga at 12:10, tomorrow should be a nice calm, relaxing day.

Tea partiers on Capitol Hill getting really ugly

As covered in Quick Hits (see here and here), things are getting really ugly on Capitol Hill.  The bigotry is laid bare once again.  Conservatives sure are good at helping you choose sides.

Still a showdown with Stupak

There have been no new vote announcements in over an hour.  At this point, anyone making an announcement will probably wait until tomorrow morning (such as Solomon Ortiz, a key “Stupak curious” member who will hold a press conference tomorrow morning).  There appears to have been a Friday afternoon rush to make the news while people were still paying attention.

Currently, I have ten “yes to no” votes, and seven “no to yes” votes.  That would mean the leadership needs two more “no to yes” votes to pass the bill.

Eight or nine of “yes to no” votes are Stupak bloc: Cao, Carney, Costello, Donnelly, Driehaus, Lipinski, Rahall, and Stupak.  Lynch might even be in that group, too.  Additionally, Berry, Dahlkemper, Kaptur and Ortiz are still “Stupak curious,” potential members of the bloc.

The Stupak bloc is the only obstacle to passing the bill at this point.  Pelosi and Stupak talked for ten minutes today.  Additionally, Jeffery Young reports a cryptic, if still worrying sign:

Pro-choice female Dems are shuttling in and out of Pelosi’s office and they won’t say why.

Rep. Diana DeGette says “we’re not happy.

At the same time, there are still enough undecided votes to pass the bill without the Stupak bloc.  Further, some members of the Stupak bloc might be wavering, such as Rahall, Costello and Cao.  Yet further, I agree with Nate Silver that “there’s perhaps also a half-Stupak (face-saving BS to get 2-3 votes).”  We don’t have to break the whole Stupak bloc, just two or three of them.  And it is possible that can be done with bullshit rather than caving.

One idea is that anyone who is a “no” on this bill, and who voted against the Stupak amendment, should receive the most pressure.  This means Adler, Arcuri, Boucher, Herseth Sandlin, Kissell, Kratovil, McMahon, and Minnick.  These eight could put an end to Stupak’s influence, once and for all, but they choose not to do so.

Live vote count updates

Update 6:18 p.m. Scott Murphy flips from “no to yes”: Scott Murphy becomes the 7th “no to yes” vote. Leadership needs at least two more of those.

Update 6:05 pm–Barrow doesn’t flip: A “no to yes” possibility disappears, as Rep. John Barrow stays a “no.”  Good thing Obama cut an ad for Barrow when he faced a primary challenger in 2008.

Update 2–Cuellar a yes: Rep. Henry Cuellar, who was a possible Stupak bloc member, will vote yes, just as he did in November.

Berry, Dahlkemper, Kaptur and Ortiz are the remaining “Stupak curious” votes.

Ortiz holding a press conference to announce his vote tomorrow morning.

****

Update–Rahall and Carney join Stupak bloc: One step forward, two steps back.  Nick Rahall and Chris Carney join the Stupak bloc, giving “yes to no” ten votes.  Post updated to reflect.

****

Suzanne Kosmas flips:

Kosmas, one of 39 Democrats to oppose a similar bill in November, said in an exclusive interview with the Orlando Sentinel that she decided to change her mind because the latest version addressed some of her previous concerns about its effect on small businesses and the federal deficit.

“I’m going to vote for healthcare reform,” she said. “I know this is not a perfect bill. But in the scheme of things, it provides the best options and the best opportunities for my constituents.”

This is now seven confirmed “no to yes” votes, against ten solid-seeming “yes to no votes.”  If the leadership can actually pick up just two more “no to yes,” and hold down the rest of the no’s, then they could pass the bill 216-215.

  1. 10 confirmed “Yes to No” votes: Arcuri, Cao, Carney, Costello, Donnelly, Driehaus, Lipinski, Lynch, Rahall, Stupak
  2. 7 confirmed “No to Yes” votes: Boccieri, Boyd, Gordon, Kosmas, Kucinich, Markey, S. Murphy
  3. This is a net of two three votes for “Yes to No.” Without losing anymore yes votes, the Democratic leadership needs to pick up at least two more “no” vote from November to pass the bill

This is looking more positive than it was even just an hour ago.  Getting Brian Baird would be huge for passing the bill without the Stupak bloc.

“Yes to no” still three ahead of “no to yes”; can only be one ahead, at most, for passage

Allen Boyd has become the 5th confirmed “no to yes” vote:

Rep. Allen Boyd has flipped from no to yes on #hcr, @ryangrim is told.

But, as has become the pattern, health reform takes a step back at the same time.  Jason altmire, who had been a good “no to yes” possibility, remains at no:

Congressman Altmire will vote against the health care bill.

Altmire is the sort of vote that could have broken the Stupak bloc.  Losing him is a big deal.

Here is where the “yes to no” and “no to yes” votes stand.  Remember that, at most, there can only be one more “yes to no” than “no to yes”:

  1. 8 confirmed “Yes to No” votes: Arcuri, Cao, Costello, Donnelly, Driehaus, Lipinski, Lynch, Stupak

    (Note: even if he is undecided, Cao will never cast the deciding vote in favor.  As such, he should be considered a “Yes to No” for the duration of the vote count)

  2. 5 confirmed “No to Yes” votes: Boccieri, Boyd, Gordon, Kucinich, Markey
  3. The results in a net of three votes for “Yes to No.” That means the leadership needs to pick up two more “no” votes from November to pass the bill

With the exception of Arcuri, and possible exception of Lynch, everyone in the “yes to no” group is in the Stupak bloc.  Really, this is a fight to find enough “no to yes” votes to overcome the Stuapk bloc.

The best remaining “no to yes” possibilities who did not vote for the Stupak amendment are Baird, Kosmas, and Scott Murphy.  The leadership needs two of those three, plus not to lose any “Stupak curious” members (Berry, Cuellar, Dahlkemper, Ellsworth, and Kaptur), or any other “yes” votes (like DeFazio and Rush) to pull this off.  Or, they need to start breaking some of the harder “no” votes, or more dedicated Stuapk bloc members.

Really feels like threading a needle.  At this point, it is safe to predict that there will be less than 220 votes for the bill, even if it passes.

Update: Brad Ellsworth is now a “yes.”  He was a yes last time too, but this is significant because he was “Stupak curious.”

Stupak situation still not settled

Stupak says he is negotiating with the leadership on the bill:

This morning, during an appearance on Good Morning America, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) reaffirmed that he might vote for the Senate health care bill if Democrats pass the Stupak abortion amendment as a separate measure. Stupak said that Democrats have shown a “renewed” interest in tying his amendment to the Senate bill

Pelosi says she isn’t negotiating:

ABC News’ Jonathan Karl reports: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was asked about Bart Stupak’s suggestion that there could be another bill to address abortion funding and she said, “I haven’t heard any of that.”

“If you don’t want federal funding for abortion… and you want to have a health care bill,” she said. “This is it.”

Leaving the he said / she said aside for the moment, Stupak still appears to hold the balance on the bill.  He may not have a dozen members anymore, but the vote is so close he doesn’t need that many anymore to sink the bill.

To pass the bill, the leadership needs to have only one less “no to yes” votes than “yes to no” votes.  Right now, “yes to no” is running at least four ahead, and at least six of the “yes to no” votes are cited the lack of the Stupak amendment as their main rationale.

What this means is that, at least based on public whip counts, there isn’t a clear path to passage at this point without either getting the Stupak group to cave, or caving to the Stupak group. And it isn’t even clear if Democrats could make a deal with Stupak if they wanted to, given both opposition in the Senate, the threat of losing new “no to yes” votes such as Betsy Markey, and the rules on reconciliation generally.

I don’t have any particularly deep insight into this, or any clever solutions.  It is just worth noting that the Stupak situation is far from settled at this point.

Boccieri to switch to “yes”; now “no to yes” votes lagging 4 behind “yes to no”

Representative John Boccieri just announced at a press conference that he will vote “yes” on the health reform bill.  This is significant, because Boccieri voted “no” back in November.

He becomes the fourth confirmed “no to yes” vote.  However, there are still eight “yes to no” votes, meaning the leadership still needs at least another three Representatives who voted “no” in November.  Here is the running tally:

  1. 8 confirmed “Yes to No” votes: Arcuri, Cao, Costello, Donnelly, Driehaus, Lipinski, Lynch, Stupak

    (Note: even if he is undecided, Cao will never cast the deciding vote in favor.  As such, he should be considered a “Yes to No” for the duration of the vote count)

  2. 4 confirmed “No to Yes” votes: Boccieri, Gordon, Kucinich, Markey
  3. The results in a net of four votes for “Yes to No.” That means the leadership needs to pick up three more “no” votes from November to pass the bill

While Boccieri is a step forward, Peter DeFazio has emerged this morning as another November “yes” vote who could flip to “no” this time around.

Rep. Pete Defazio tells @ryangrim he’s a NO unless they re-insert geo. disparity fix for Medicare http://bit.ly/dt1rog

What a slog.  One step forward, one step back, lots of Reps looking to get in the headlines by saying they are undecided or about to announce their vote.

“Yes to No” votes running 5 ahead of “No to Yes” votes; can run only 1 ahead at most

There are a lot of whip counts on the health reform bill right now.  In the midst of the confusion, let me suggest a simplified metric on the progress of the health reform bill:

  1. Tally the number of confirmed “No” votes who switched from voting yes in November;
  2. Tally the number of confirmed “Yes” votes who switched from voting no in November;
  3. Subtract #2 from #1.
  4. If the resulting number is equal to, or less than, 1, then the bill looks good for passage.  If the result is greater than 1, passage is in danger.

With droves of members of Congress still playing coy with the public, this should make things easy.

So, here we go:

  1. 8 confirmed “Yes to No” votes: Arcuri, Cao, Costello, Donnelly, Driehaus, Lipinski, Lynch, Stupak

    (Note: even if he is undecided, Cao will never cast the deciding vote in favor.  As such, he should be considered a “Yes to No” for the duration of the vote count)

  2. 3 confirmed “No to Yes” votes: Gordon, Kucinich, Markey
  3. The results in a net of five votes for “Yes to No.” That means the leadership needs to pick up four more “no” votes from November to pass the bill

Hopefully, that simplifies things, and makes it easier to understand the run of play.  Then again, some of these supposedly “hard yes” and “hard no” votes have flipped before, so even this count is prone to confusion.

Update–Bobby Rush a no? CNN claims Bobby Rush is now a “no.”  Don’t quite believe this yet.  Best to wait for more info.

Update 2: Bobby Rush already backing off “no” stance; So much for Rush being a no:

@ryangrim just talked to Rep. Bobby Rush, he’s already backing off ‘no’ vote. House staffer: ‘he’s a primadonna, he’ll be a yes’

That was an interesting five minutes.

Rep. Stephen Lynch to vote no, endangers passage

Representative Stephen Lynch, who voted for the health reform bill in November and had been considered a “yes” in David Dayen’s whip count, is now a “solid no” on the current bill:

Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) is a firm “no” on health care reform — in large measure because he opposes the idea of any kind of excise tax on Cadillac plans, even one that’s delayed for years and years.

That puts the vote count at 204 in favor, and 211 opposed, with leaners.  Pretty dicey on passage, to say the least, especially when you look at the 16 undecided, non-leaning votes in the count:

Jason Altmire

Melissa Bean

Chris Carney

Travis Childers

Henry Cuellar

Kathy Dahlkemper

Brad Ellsworth

Bill Foster

Marcy Kaptur

Jim Matheson

Harry Mitchell

Solomon Ortiz

Earl Pomeroy

Nick Rahall

Zack Space

Harry Teague

Additionally, I now expect Stephen Lynch to receive loads of concessions on future legislation.  By voting against this bill, be becomes more powerful in future negotiations, right?  So, let’s track his rise to power after this vote.