First a few important numbers to give the later numbers some context. At the moment there are 431 Representatives in Congress (due to some resignations and a death). That means to pass this bill Nancy Pelosi must have a simple majority – 216. Of the 431, 178 are Republicans none of which are planning on voting yes. 253 are Democrats. That means Pelosi can only lose 37 of the 253.
So where is she? According to David Dayen at Firedoglake the present “yes” vote is 189. So Pelosi is 27 votes short according to his count (much fewer votes than I thought she had). Here’s how they break down:
18 Democrats who voted No in November:
Bobby Bright, Mike McIntyre, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Walt Minnick, Artur Davis, Chet Edwards, Frank Kratovil, Mike Ross, Dan Boren, Gene Taylor, Larry Kissell, Dennis Kucinich, Collin Peterson, Ike Skelton, Jim Marshall, Mike McMahon, Charlie Melancon, Tim Holden.
7 Democrats & Republicans who voted Yes in November (confirmed Stupak bloc):
Bart Stupak, Marion Berry, Dan Lipinski, Kathy Dahlkemper, Joe Donnelly, Joseph Cao (R), Steve Driehaus.
19 potential Democratic No-Yes flip votes:
Jason Altmire, Bart Gordon, Glenn Nye, Brian Baird, John Tanner, Rick Boucher, Allen Boyd, John Boccieri, Suzanne Kosmas, Betsy Markey, John Adler, Scott Murphy, Lincoln Davis, Jim Matheson.
6 less possible:
Travis Childers, Harry Teague, Heath Shuler (severe lean no), John Barrow, Tim Holden, Ben Chandler.
21 potential Yes-No flip votes:
4 additional Stupak bloc (rumored):
Charlie Wilson, Brad Ellsworth, Marcy Kaptur, Jerry Costello.
17 other wary Democrats:
Mike Arcuri, Zack Space, Chris Carney, Mike Doyle, Paul Kanjorski, Ann Kirkpatrick, Alan Mollohan, Nick Rahall, Dan Maffei, Bill Owens, John Spratt, Dennis Cardoza, James Oberstar, Baron Hill, Solomon Ortiz, Gabrielle Giffords, Earl Pomeroy.
Note that Republican Jospeh Cao is in the list. Cao has already stated categorically that he will vote against the bill thereby making the Republican count against 178.
Henry Waxman has said that the Democrats are going forward without worrying about the abortion language or the Stupak 12. That means the 27 votes have to come from 40 under the “19 potential Democratic No-Yes flip votes” and “21 potential Yes-No flip votes”. If what Waxmen said is true, then the “4 additional Stupak bloc” may or may not be targeted. If not, that leaves 36 of which 27 have to vote Pelosi’s way to make this happen.
At this point, the arm-twisting hasn’t begun in earnest. Pelosi has alreay shrugged off the March 18th date (which is an indicator that she hasn’t really begun trying to round up the votes but is aware she doesn’t have what she needs at this point – despite her knowingly disingenuous claims to the contrary.).
However, Pelosi knows that not being able to act before the Easter recess works against her agenda since it is during that recess that you can be assured Representatives are going to hear from their constituents via townhalls. And the message isn’t going to be pretty. It is also a time they’ll begin to gear up their campaign for re-election. So some pretty heavy political soul searching is going to be done prior to coming back and voting on HCR. So you can rest assured she is going to try to move heaven and earth to get this vote done before then.
With the Senate parliamentarian’s ruling yesterday, her job got even harder today. Watch for some intense pressure to be brought on those 40 I mentioned as well as the Stupak 12 (who, with yesterday’s Senate ruling, are even less likely to vote “yes” now) over the coming days and weeks. Pelosi is going to try to force a vote before the Easter recess. The question is will she be anywhere close enough to 216 by that point to do so?