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Why the House Democrats are about 100 votes short

By: Michael Barone
Senior Political Analyst
02/13/10 1:18 PM EST

My colleague Mark Tapscott cites an anonymous quote by a House Democratic leader from a Politico story on why the House Democratic leadership can’t muster the votes needed to pass the Senate health care bill. “‘You just need to twist enough arms to pass the Senate bill.’ You can twist arms if you’ve got a handful of them to twist. You can’t twist over 100 arms. There needs to be some reality check there.” Mark takes that as an indication that House Democrats are short 100 votes of passing the Senate bill.

It requires 50 Democratic senators willing to go along with reconciliation, and given the poll numbers that have been coming out lately that’s not a sure thing. And it requires steady leadership from Harry Reid—who just last week, without notice to the White House, the House leadership or the senators involved, yanked a Baucus-Grassely bipartisan “jobs” bill and substituted a much smaller one of his own.

If you vote for the Senate bill, you’re voting for something that has 35% support nationwide and probably a little less than that in your district. You will have voted for the Cornhusker Hustle and the Louisiana Purchase. Your Republican opponent will ask why you voted for something that gave taxpayers in Nebraska and Louisiana better treatment than the people you represent (there are no Democratic House members running for reelection in those two states: Nebraska has only Republican House members and the single Louisiana House Democrat is running for the Senate).

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Why-the-House-Democrats-are-about-100-votes-short-84302517.html#ixzz0fX3g3e4F

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February 14, 2010 - Posted by | Federal Government, healthcare | ,

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