(UPDATE: CBO Score out — $940 B UPDATE 2: Obama has cancelled (postponed Asia Trip)) Morning whip count update and looking at Democratic strategy.
A few surprising developments since I slept. Tough to sleep when you’re in a war. From the way I see things, I am cautiously optimistic but really I think nothing can be taken for granted. Heath Shuler says he is now undecided. He caught a whole lot of hell from his constituents back at the August recess and his comments toward Obamacare have been overall very negative. He was one of I believe 10-12 congressmen who President Obama summoned for a meeting recently. I believe Obama and Pelosi are looking for votes very hard to offset the pro-life Democrats which look to neighbor in the number of 10+. Sanford Bishop of Georgia who was thought to be a definite yes going into this thing is now undecided as well as his fellow Georgia Democratic colleague John Barrow. There are people who have been calling Lincoln Davis’ office and are reporting that staffers in Davis’ office are telling them that Davis is a no vote. Smart, as he is in a R+14 district I believe. I have to ask myself. What kind of idiot southern Democratic congressmen would go for this abominable government healthcare takeover? I cannot imagine what people down there would do nor do I want to. People who live in those congressmen’s districts better bring the heat from here on out because Obama and Pelosi sure are.
The media hasn’t run with Davis’ staffers saying he is a NO vote and its obvious why. They are trying to help Pelosi with creating phantom momentum (I like Ace’s term fauxmentum) and trick undecided Democratic congressmen into the yes camp. The media was announcing with trumpets the NO to YEA vote of ultra-lib Dennis Kucinich, James Oberstar of MN and Dale Kildee of Michigan. The last two they were trying to create the impression that the Stupak bloc is crumbling. However, observations in looking at the actions of Obama and Pelosi suggest that they have been desperately trying to peel off pro-life Democrats and lobbying hard no votes. Pelosi, though leadership has denied this, has been having meetings with female only Democratic congressmen and trying to broker some deal with Stupak in regards to abortion. However, she has no leeway here. Stupak will not accept a side-car or fix bill. He knows the only way to solve this would start back from square one and then he would be able to get the language he wants. There is no abortion deal that Pelosi can come up with that would currently solve the abortion problem. Steve Driehaus and Jerry Costello firmed up their no votes yesterday (believed to be part of the pro-life coalition) even after they had likely been pushed to vote yea with a visit from Joe Biden according to local papers and The National Review. I have to give it up to those congressmen. It takes some strong men to do that.
The excuses and statements coming from Democratic leadership regarding the CBO score are laughable. I highlighted this yesterday in this post. They are trying like crazy to create a reconciliation bill that 1) reduces the deficit. 2 ) adds on a student loan takeover program (could push more House Democrats into the no column, particularly Paul Kanjorski) 3) comes up with a cost number that they hope will attract congressional and public support.
The problem here is that Joe Barton informed us yesterday that the CBO score yesterday came in at over $1 trillion. The Democratic leadership had the score but they didn’t like it so it was back to the drawing board. Obama summoned Richard Trumkin, a leader of the AFL-CIO obviously to get union concessions which would be in the form of higher and more immediate taxes on union Cadillac health plans. So, Obama wants every American to sacrifice for his own selfish ambition now. His interview with Bret Beier yesterday revealed a combative, seriously angry president. He didn’t look happy at all.
I highlighted the next probable tactic of Pelosi here yesterday. Once the CBO score comes out, expect her to schedule a vote even though she will likely not have to votes. This will be a bluff to get undecided Democratic congressmen into the yes column. If that happens, check here what to do. Obama and Pelosi are playing a very high stakes game of poker here. It is up to us to create insurmountable strength in the opposition’s hand so any bluff they try to pull can be called any time.
Here is the list of congressmen who I think deserve maximum heat and attention from callers.
Jason Altmire (PA-4), Brian Baird (WA-3), John Barrow (GA-12), John Boccieri (OH-16), Rick Boucher (VA-9), Allen Boyd (FL-2), Travis Childers (MS-1), Lincoln Davis (TN-4), Betsy Markey (CO-4), Jim Matheson (UT-2), Scott Murphy (NY-20), Glenn Nye (VA-2), Heath Shuler (NC-11), John Tanner (TN-8 ), Harry Teague (NM-2). Suzanne Kosmas (FL-24), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Tom Perriello (VA-5), John Barrow (GA-1), Sanford Bishop (GA-2), Tim Bishop (NY-1), Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-8 ), Baron Hill (IN-9), Paul Kanjorski (PA-11), Alan Mollohan (WV-1), Solomon Ortiz (TX-27), Bill Owens (NY-23), Tom Perriello (VA-5), Earl Pomeroy (ND-All), Nick Rahall (WV-3), Zack Space (OH-18 ), Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-3), and Brad Ellsworth (IN-8 ).
I think Space might be a lost cause but he is in a R+7 district. I thought about putting Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) but she has stated that though she has a strong pro-life rating, it won’t determine to be the primary reason for her vote.
Go out there and drop the hammer down today on your congressmen.
UPDATE: MSNBC is reporting a senior aide says the CBO will score the bill at $940 billion and will save $100B for the first decade (yeah right). Steny Hoyer is saying that the House is on track to vote on Sunday. Democratic spinmeisters are now expressing fake confidence that the bill will pass trying to depress the opposition. Pelosi is likely going to do just like I thought she would as previously mentioned. Apparently, Richard Traumka of the AFL CIO is now going to shop a concession package to the members as it looks like Obama needs union concessions to try to get this through. Now blow up the phones and demand whether your congressmen will be voting yes or no. Pay particular attention to the target list I made above.