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Probably Irrelevant Fun with Numbers

While I have no reason to disagree with the widely held belief that Democrats now have the votes to pass the health care bill, I want to raise a brief point of order.

The group on the dais with Bishop Stupak moments ago were: Kaptur, Carney, Driehaus, Dahlkemper, Rahall, and Mollohan. If there was anyone else I didn’t see them. Kaptur and Carney were ALREADY built into the count as Yes votes. So if you add the five on stage associated with the deal to the Yes side, you’re still only at 213 votes for the bill.

It’s unclear where Marion Berry and Joe Donnelly are on this. Even if they both supported, that’d get you to 215 – one short of passage. Costello and Lipinski, I’m convinced, are No votes either way.

So then you’d need one of the remaining undecideds: Michaud, Sanchez, Cooper, Kanjorski, Boucher. Now, it’s likely they’d get one – Michaud is likely, for example – but what if Berry and Donnelly don’t agree to the bill?

I’m not giving bill-killers a glimmer of hope, but it should be worth seeing how 216 gets built. And this further underlines how ridiculous Stupak’s claim is that the Democratic leadership had the votes without him.

UPDATE: I’m not bothering to put up the whip count numbers because I do agree that this is over.

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David Dayen

David Dayen