Saturday, November 7, 2009

Late Night Health Care Thread

Health reform passes the House 220 to 215
(39 Dem YEAs and 1 Repub NAY)

12:15am ET: Ah, who am I kidding? I've had too much Diet Coke to go to bed. Open Left has the list of the 39 Democrats who voted Nay. There should be political consequences for these people, many of whom rode into office on Obama's coattails, with organized labor's money, in a Democratic wave in 2008, and then vote against the biggest priorities of the President, the labor movement, and the Democratic Party.

Here they are:

1. Adler (NJ)
2. Altmire
3. Baird
4. Barrow
5. Boccieri
6. Boren
7. Boucher
8. Boyd
9. Bright
10. Chandler
11. Childers
12. Davis (AL)
13. Davis (TN)
14. Edwards (TX)
15. Gordon (TN)
16. Griffith
17. Herseth Sandlin
18. Holden
19. Kissell
20. Kosmas
21. Kratovil
22. Kucinich
23. Markey (CO)
24. Marshall
25. Massa
26. Matheson
27. McIntyre
28. McMahon
29. Melancon
30. Minnick
31. Murphy (NY)
32. Nye
33. Peterson
34. Ross
35. Shuler
36. Skelton
37. Tanner
38. Taylor
39. Teague

11:56pm ET: Final update of the evening: This is a big, big win, but we're not home yet. We should take a moment to recognize what an accomplishment this is. American has done nothing this big in health care since Medicare was passed. Passing a major health bill through one chamber of Congress is no small feat. Now the fight moves on to the even more conservative Senate, where every Joe Lieberman in the world will try to grab some last-minute spotlight. I think though that at the end of the day, there is just too much momentum on the side of reform for the defenders of the status quo to stop it. I predict once again that health care reform will pass and the president will sign it into law. More on the political implications of all this in coming posts.

For now, I'll leave it with the words the president so eloquently "tweeted" tonight:
This is history.
11:43pm ET: This is interesting. The AFL-CIO is talking about reducing its contributions to Democrats who oppose health care reform. Well, 39 of them just opposed it on the floor of the House, so let's see if the labor federation sticks to its guns. Even for Blue Dogs, money from organized labor makes up a big chunk of their campaign spending. For 52 Blue Dogs, a plurality of their 2009 contributions came from labor. And then the Dogs go out on the floor of the House and vote against the biggest priorities of working families and unions. I think Rich Trumka, the new AFL-CIO president, is on to something: Demand stuff from Democrats in return for electing them. If they don't give you stuff, don't keep electing them.

11:19pm ET: Here's more info about the one Republican to join Democrats in voting for health care reform. It's Anh "Joseph" Cao (R-LA), elected in 2008 from a heavily Democratic and African-American district.
11:12pm ET: Hey look. One Republican YEA vote! Now they can call it "bipartisan."

Looks like the final vote is 220 YEAs and 215 NAYs. Not much room for error.

11:07pm ET: Got 218! DING DING DING DING DING!!! Wow, 39 maybe 40 Democratic NAY votes.

11:02pm ET: Already 30 Democrats voting NAY. We can afford to lose 40 of them and still win.

10:59pm ET: The final vote is open! Alright, 218 is the magic number.

10:55pm ET: Who the heck are these Democrats joining Republicans on this motion to recommit? With 2 minutes to go, it's already failed, but still, huh? These are probably the same conservative Dems who will vote against the final bill. But fear not, all signs still look good for final passage.

10:50pm ET: Voting now on the "motion to recommit," which is basically Republicans trying to send the bill back into endless debate. But this ain't the Senate, so that ain't so easy. Should go down easily. Final vote should come after that.

10:35pm ET: According to, the one Republican to vote against the Republican "substitute bill" was Louie Gohmert (R TX-01). Don't know who he is or why he did that. Push the wrong button, Louie?

10:32pm ET: Now they're debating a "motion to recommit." I think this is where the Republicans throw in all their final, evil talking points. Several sites I've read said they're going to talk a lot about illegal immigrants. Right now Eric Cantor (R-VA) is rattling on about tort reform. The real vote should be coming soon.

10:27pm ET: The Republican bill is rejected by party-line vote. But who is that one Republican who voted Nay?

10:20pm ET: Stupak Amendment passes easily and is attached to the bill. More than 60 Democrats voted for it. Now they're voting on the "Republican substitute" amendment, which is basically an un-reform bill to take the place of what the Democrats are offering. This one should be an exact party-line vote.

10:07pm ET:
Right now they are voting on the Stupak Amendment, which is a pro-life provision introduced by Bart Stupak (D-MI). There were worries earlier that if this amendment passed, then angry liberal Democrats would actually vote against the bill and help Republicans sink it. But if the amendment failed, conservative Dems were threatening to vote against the bill too. It now sounds like it doesn't matter... enough Dems will come home to pass the bill, Stupak Amendment or no.


Elizabeth said...

Who's the R who voted against the R proposal??

Dave said...

Yeah, I don't know. That's weird. Let me see if I can find it.

Elizabeth said...

CSPAN is saying it's Tim Johnson from Illinois

Dave said...

Hmm, says Louie Gohmert (R-TX), but yeah I would definitely trust C-SPAN over Red State.

Elizabeth said...


Elizabeth said...

Joseph Cao (Republican from Louisiana). Voted yes!!! What a guy!

Dave said...

HAHA! If I were that one Republican YEA vote, I would hire a bodyguard.

Becky said...

Yay! It seemed close there! Thanks Dave, that was fun.

Dave said...

Yeah, that was a little too close for me. But we've cleared another hurdle. On to the Senate!

Amy said...

So I just saw a headline saying it has nowhere to go in the Senate. What's up with that?

Dave said...

Well, the Senate will definitely be harder to win than the House. But keep in mind, the Senate's version of this bill is already more conservative than what the House just passed.

If the entire Democratic caucus to supports it, it passes. I believe Joe Lieberman and a handful of conservative Democrats can be cajoled and bought off in the end.

Republicans want us to believe that Joe Lieberman will join their filibuster, so that is the end of all our hopes. But it's not exactly that simple. First of all, who knows what carrots and/or sticks the Democratic leadership and the White House can throw at Lieberman and the others. Second, if they really need to, the Dems can pass key elements of this bill with just a simple majority.

Anyway, Obama has basically staked his first term on this. I don't think he and the Congressional leadership are going to let it all go down in flames just because Joe Lieberman wants to have his name in the papers.

Mason said...

Master of the Machines,
Two questions: 1. What's your take on the Stupak Amdt? (Was it a good thing in itself?) 2. Is it better to have 40 conservative blue dogs in Congress or 40 Republicans?