A reminder of where we stand now: Health care legislation passed by a 220-215 margin on Nov. 7. Since then, Reps. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Robert Wexler (D-FL) and Eric Massa (D-NY) have resigned. Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) passed away. Of that group, Abercrombie, Wexler and Murtha voted in favor. Massa voted against. Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao (R-LA), who voted for the bill, has said he will vote against.How tense! I almost feel sorry for them. Almost. What's going through those 431 fervid little minds? Each knows his/her vote is crucial, but then what? Worry that angry voters will say this thing passed because of you? Worry that angry voters will say this thing failed because of you? So, then... be quiet and cooperative? Or be demanding and invite a Massa-style ethics investigation (with naked Rahm-poke)? And then what? Become a blustering media star while wussing out and resigning (like Massa)? Try to stand up to the Chief of Staff and his minions? Or maybe the stress will get to you and you'll keel over and die like Murtha? Lay low, stand and fight... or go like Murtha/Massa? Poor congresspeople. Not.
That means Pelosi has lost 4 votes, bringing her to 216. Because there are only 431 members of the House, thanks to the vacancies, Pelosi needs exactly that number to pass reform. Arcuri's decision today brings the number of yes votes down to 215 -- one below the number needed to pass.
March 9, 2010
Hotline On Call has the details: