Health Care Whip Count Updates: Titus Yes, Kaptur Lean Yes (195 firm Yes, 208 firm No)
The updates are coming fast and furious now.
• John Ralston reports that Dina Titus (D-NV) will vote for the bill. I had Titus as a lean Yes, but she was courted by pro-reform and anti-reform forces. She becomes vote #195 for the bill.
• Via Magster in the last thread, Nick Rahall:
Rahall indicated he was leaning yes on MSNBC just now, but wasn’t satisfied with abortion language and wanted a change. But he was talking about the bill as if it would pass and what needed done once it passed (translation: I won’t be the deciding vote to kill the bill, but if Pelosi can make my vote irrelevant, I’m voting no because I want to be reelected).
I think that’s very accurate with respect to Rahall, meaning that he’ll hold out until the very end. So can’t put him in any category right now. As for him talking about the bill as if it would pass, that’s definitely what the leadership wants everyone to think, and they may be close (3-5 votes), but not entirely there yet.
• Marcy Kaptur, a key undecided, told the Toledo Blade that she’s leaning toward voting for the bill. Peeling her away from the Stupak bloc would be key. Kaptur, from a strongly Democratic district, had been making some truly strange statements over the last couple days. Here’s the key bit:
Mr. Obama then listened as Mr. Reid assured Miss Kaptur that the bill would not undermine the long-standing Hyde rule against federal abortion funding.
“He said, ‘Marcy, I helped write those provisions. I assure you they don’t go beyond existing law,'” Miss Kaptur said. “I said, ‘I want to see the language you’re talking about.'”
• Mike Arcuri, now a No vote, is just getting hammered in his home state of New York. The Working Families Party is recruiting a third-party challenger, and the SEIU will end their support of the freshman Dem and look for a challenger as well. I don’t know if this is enough to switch Arcuri’s vote – he seems pretty dug in – but they’re certainly trying.
UPDATE: As David Waldman notes, Arcuri’s position on the powerful House Rules Committee may also be at risk.
Moving Titus to yes and Kaptur to lean yes, the whip count now stands at 195-208, with leaners 204-211.
|Tuesday, 3/16/2010||Voted||Retiring||Stupak||PVI||No||Leaning No||Unknown||Leaning Yes||Yes|
|Definite No (30):|
|Potential No-Yes Flips (10):|
|Potential Yes-No Flips (23):|