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Democrats hunt for healthcare reform votes
The Financial Times ^ | Mar 7, 2010 | Anna Fifield and Edward Luce

Posted on 03/07/2010 5:20:16 PM PST by upchuck

Democrats do not have a firm grip on the votes needed to pass sweeping healthcare reform legislation in the House of Representatives, one House leader admitted on Sunday.

But the White House insisted that its reform efforts were “in the final chapter”.

Barack Obama has given Democrats a March 18 deadline for the House to pass the Senate version of a healthcare reform bill before he leaves on a trip to Asia, leading to a frenzy of arm-twisting and vote tallying on Capitol Hill.

With previous deadlines missed, veteran Democrats are warning that the legislation must be completed before the Easter recess to avoid a repeat of last summer’s “town hall” protests that almost sunk the healthcare bill.

“I believe it will pass. Do we have a mortal lock? No. Because people are still looking at some of the changes that are being made,” Chris Van Hollen, one of the Democratic leaders in the House, admitted on CNN on Sunday.

The House is shaping up to be a key battlefield in the healthcare fight, since Democrats lost their 60-seat super-majority in the Senate.

With not a single Republican supporting the reform effort, the only option for Democrats now is to have the House pass the Senate version of the bill, then for both chambers to pass a series of fixes to take into consideration the demands of House lawmakers.

But Democratic leaders in the House are struggling to get the 216 votes they need to pass the Senate bill. As many as 12 conservative Democrats who voted in favour of the House bill because it included tough new restrictions on abortion funding are now threatening to vote against the Senate version, which is less restrictive. The House bill passed by 220 to 215 so Democrats have few votes to spare.

“This is going to be a discussion and we are going to be engaged in that dialogue for some time until we get it done,” said Mr Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic congressional campaign committee and the fifth-ranking Democrat in the House.

Kathleen Sebelius, Mr Obama's health secretary, said on Sunday it was time for Congress to “get the job done”.

“The bill has passed the House, the bill has passed the Senate with a super-majority. We have comprehensive legislation for the first time,” Ms Sebelius told ABC on Sunday. “We are in the final chapter, mostly because the American people are desperate.”

Tom Daschle, the former Democratic Senate majority leader, underlined the urgency of getting healthcare passed before the Easter congressional recess in less than three weeks.

“There really is a life to these legislative projects and we’ve already extended beyond the normal life [of healthcare] given the array of other challenges and issues we have to face,” he told the Financial Times in its View From DC video series. “Right now Democrats are back on the offensive and I think they have got to seize it and do the most with it.”

Mr Daschle warned that failure to pass healthcare reform could lead to a repeat of the anti-reform campaigning that almost sunk the bill in the summer. “There is a lot of fear of the unknown and it’s pretty easy to generate fear,” he said. “Every time we do [try healthcare reform], the same predictions and the same dire consequences are announced.”

Mr Daschle underlined that it was important also to clear space after Easter for the Obama administration to tackle jobs, financial regulatory reform and legislation to address climate change. “We have got to perform – we have got to show that we can govern,” he said. “We’ve got to focus on jobs and do as much to recreate the kind of economy that would allow more job creation.”


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 111th; bhohealthcare; daschle; lobbyists
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Ms Sebelius: “We are in the final chapter, mostly because the American people are desperate.”

Yeah Kathy, we're desperate all right. Desperately fighting this Marxist POS monstrosity. We're not gonna let you and your thugs take over 20% of GDP and dictate healthcare to us. Just ain't gonna happen.

Tom Dasshole, go screw yourself.

1 posted on 03/07/2010 5:20:16 PM PST by upchuck
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To: upchuck

Thank you RINO Newt and Dede for effing up NY-23. That one house vote in NY-23 may mean a lot very soon. Idiot Newt.


2 posted on 03/07/2010 5:22:55 PM PST by Frantzie (TV - sending Americans towards Islamic serfdom - Cancel TV service NOW)
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To: upchuck

I guess this means the fascists are getting ready to send in their union thugs. No, that isn’t the Nawlins Saints in their football uniforms at the White House. That’s the DemocRATS from the House of Reprentatives who voted “No” on CommieCare.


3 posted on 03/07/2010 5:25:52 PM PST by FlingWingFlyer (A proud American-American since 1949.)
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To: FlingWingFlyer

Just what planet are these DIMs living on? People, real people, don’t want this crap. Resist! Resist! Resist! Melt their phones, faxes and computers.


4 posted on 03/07/2010 5:28:12 PM PST by hal ogen
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To: upchuck

They can’t get 200 votes in the House anymore, much less than 216. And every Dem that votes for this DeathCare bill will hang separately (politically) if they *do* vote for it.


5 posted on 03/07/2010 5:30:41 PM PST by DGHoodini (Iran Azadi!)
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To: upchuck; AT7Saluki; writer33; Liz
But the White House insisted that its reform efforts were “in the final chapter”.

Just as long as we 'trust' Hussein. Who is this clown?

6 posted on 03/07/2010 5:31:22 PM PST by Libloather (Tea totaler, PROUD birther, mobster, pro-lifer, anti-warmer, enemy of the state, extremist....)
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To: upchuck
Because people are still looking at some of the changes that are being made...

Made where???? Not to the Senate Bill that the House is going to have to pass for ObamaCare to become a reality. Is there some sort of a reconciliation bill being developed somewhere in the dark dungeons of the Capital? Is it being developed in the Senate? Or the House?

I have heard ZERO on this subject in the news. I'll believe it when I hear it. I think that all that is going on is arm twisting and bribery by Pelosi and Reid. Once the deals are made then and only then will anyone be writing a reconciliation bill that will probably never pass if it's brought up at all. This is a joke.

7 posted on 03/07/2010 5:32:49 PM PST by InterceptPoint
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To: upchuck


8 posted on 03/07/2010 5:33:52 PM PST by Rocko
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To: upchuck

First they have to bribe the Senate to pass this crap, then they have to beg for votes because the American people are demanding universal access to health care when they already have it. Totally delusional...


9 posted on 03/07/2010 5:36:29 PM PST by ez ("Abashed the Devil stood and felt how awful goodness is..." - Milton)
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To: upchuck
Barack Obama has given Democrats a March 18 deadline for the House to pass the Senate version of a healthcare reform bill before he leaves on a trip to Asia, leading to a frenzy of arm-twisting and vote tallying on Capitol Hill.

Baloney! How many in Congress actually respect any freaking deadline the "president" imposes? There is no frenzy of arm-twisting going on; everyone is too busy looking at their own polling internals. Nobody up on the hill cares what BO wants, anymore. They know his "health-care reform bill" is the kiss of death.

Even Pelosi doesn't care anymroe. She's exhausted, look at her. She doesn't want to call a vote because she KNOWS it won't win. Reid is planning his next job lobbying, but not many want him on their side, either.

Congress, both sides, would like this mess to go away. ALL the dems are praying for some new crisis to take BO's mind off healthcare.

10 posted on 03/07/2010 5:36:50 PM PST by Judith Anne (2012 Sarah Palin/Duncan Hunter 2012)
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To: Libloather
"In the final chapter" sounds pretty vague to me. Not real decisive.
11 posted on 03/07/2010 5:37:22 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: upchuck
Here's a message for Tiller The Killer's best buddy...sweetheart,we're so desperate that the people of Massachusetts....MASSACHUSETTS....sent a Republican to the US Senate simply because he promised to vote against HusseinCare.

THAT'S how desperate Americans are.

12 posted on 03/07/2010 5:38:17 PM PST by Gay State Conservative (Host The Beer Summit-->Win The Nobel Peace Prize!)
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To: upchuck
Kathleen Sebelius, Mr Obama's health secretary, said on Sunday it was time for Congress to “get the job done”. Maybe Congress doesn't agree. I wonder if Sebelius has ever heard of the "separation of powers."
13 posted on 03/07/2010 5:46:03 PM PST by Brilliant
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To: upchuck

This is probably the tenth time I have asked this question but I still dont have an answer.

Article 1 Section 7 of the Constitution says all revenue bills must originate in the House of Representatives. This bill raises revenue but originated in the Senate. What is the story?


14 posted on 03/07/2010 5:48:04 PM PST by freespirited (We're not the Party of No. We're the Party of HELL NO!!!)
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To: DGHoodini

This is an all out assault on the American public.


15 posted on 03/07/2010 6:00:22 PM PST by ronnie raygun (Cockblock the sock puppet in 2010)
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To: upchuck

Oh yeah! They want to avoid the town hall meetings that almost sunk the bill. What is it about town hall meetings and “almost sunk the bill” that Kathleen and the administraion don’t understand? WE DON”T WANT HEALTH CARE “REFORM!”


16 posted on 03/07/2010 6:05:53 PM PST by Sunshine Sister
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To: ez

The Senate is irrelevant at this point. The reconciliation thing won’t happen. It is too much a mess.

I’m guessing Obama and Pelosi simply want to get the House to pass the Senate bill. Obama will sign it in ten seconds.

Then the Dems will try to get out the tax on high union healthcare plans over the summer but will be stymied by filibuster.

Then we wait until the November elections to see how big a victory we can get and whether we can gear up to roll any of this back after taking over both Houses. And it all might have to wait until 2012 unfortunately.


17 posted on 03/07/2010 6:06:44 PM PST by SteveAustin
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To: upchuck

Fourth and goal. Stuff these Marxist bungholes for a BIG loss.


18 posted on 03/07/2010 6:09:22 PM PST by behzinlea
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To: upchuck
Just ain't gonna happen

Lord, how I wish I could believe that.

19 posted on 03/07/2010 6:12:53 PM PST by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: upchuck
“The bill has passed the House, the bill has passed the Senate with a super-majority. We have comprehensive legislation for the first time,” Ms Sebelius told ABC on Sunday. “We are in the final chapter, mostly because the American people are desperate.”

Holy bovine creature!

They (the Dem aristocrats in general, and Ms Sebelius specifically) think we lowly peeps are sooooooo stupid as to let them tell us that we are "desperate" for them to confiscate our health plans.

Good health and freedom are too important. Americans will resist socialized medicine by every legal and ethical means available.

.

20 posted on 03/07/2010 6:19:49 PM PST by Seaplaner (Never give in. Never give in. Never...except to convictions of honour and good sense. W. Churchill)
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To: DGHoodini

I read where they need to get 36 votes to switch to yes that have decided to vote no. In other words, they are 36 votes IN THE HOLE!


21 posted on 03/07/2010 6:22:28 PM PST by WashingtonSource
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To: upchuck
But the White House insisted that its reform efforts were “in the final chapter.

If they're successful, that's Chapter 11...

22 posted on 03/07/2010 6:31:33 PM PST by NCjim ("You can't pick up a turd by the clean end", Bob Lonsberry on Obamacare)
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To: WashingtonSource

That would put them at 180 House CongressRats that better gird their loins for the political hell that is going to come pouring down on them.


23 posted on 03/07/2010 6:34:47 PM PST by DGHoodini (Iran Azadi!)
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To: Seaplaner

no one is pointing out the dems desperation that they cannot proceed to conference and develop a compromise as is the normal legislative course, because it is so far from bipartisan—its fascistic. No worries. Seniors will rise up and demand repeal when Medicare Advantage is unceremoniously stripped from them next year (except the Floridians). 2011 will be glorious. The taxes, the Seniors’ wrath, the Republican house and Senate, and the no jobs hangover.


24 posted on 03/07/2010 6:36:37 PM PST by LALALAW (one of the asses whose sick of our "ruling" classes)
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To: freespirited

Reid took an obscure how tax bill and dropped in the managers amendment, which is the Senate health care bill. So the Senate HCR bill did originate in the House.

More broadly, note what the MSM and Democratic leaders choose to overlook: this bill is so unpopular that Democratic leaders dare not let their members go home. This alone is scandalous.


25 posted on 03/07/2010 6:37:10 PM PST by mwl8787
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To: upchuck

How can we put a steak in it and kill this bill and make the damn thing die? Every time it is dead, then they bring it back. They will get voted out win or lose on this thing. Dems are ending themselves on this Obamacare crap. People are tired of it, and want it gone. They are too dumb to figure it out, so they will be writing themselves out of office. I pray it fails, and then the Dems are gone for a very long time. Forever really. No more Commies in office for the rest of time. I dream big!


26 posted on 03/07/2010 6:40:05 PM PST by King_Corey (www.kingcorey.com)
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To: freespirited

Good question!


27 posted on 03/07/2010 6:42:14 PM PST by Kenny
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To: upchuck
“The bill has passed the House, the bill has passed the Senate with a super-majority. We have comprehensive legislation for the first time,” Ms Sebelius told ABC on Sunday. “We are in the final chapter, mostly because the American people are desperate.”

No, the House and Senate passed *different* bills. Not that such minor details would matter to Frau Goebbels here.

28 posted on 03/07/2010 6:59:41 PM PST by Charles Martel ("Endeavor to persevere...")
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To: Judith Anne

I hope the picture you paint of Dems in total CYA mode is accurate and I believe it is. The scenario I imagine is if Stretch and Pinky can’t somehow guarantee the votes, some of their members will pull out last minute. So it’s a guessing game because many of the dems wont want to be branded if it’s not sure to pass. I do believe though that there IS massive arm twisting going on and I’m sure Stretch’s appointment of Levin is giving her even more ability to make promises.


29 posted on 03/07/2010 7:01:10 PM PST by Track9 (Oh never mind)
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To: AdmSmith; Berosus; bigheadfred; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Fred Nerks; ...
Democrats do not have a firm grip on the votes needed to pass sweeping healthcare reform legislation...
...one trouble with that statement in this op-ed disguised as news is, there IS no Democrat healthcare reform proposal. Thanks upchuck.
30 posted on 03/07/2010 7:01:55 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Freedom is Priceless.)
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To: Seaplaner
Good health and freedom are too important. Americans will resist socialized medicine by every legal and ethical means available.

Americans will resist socialized medicine by every legal, (illegal) and ethical means available.

This is unconstitutional and illegal, and Americans will fight fire with fire!

31 posted on 03/07/2010 7:10:35 PM PST by factmart
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To: upchuck
let me get this straight...

the RATS had a 60/40 majority and couldn't pass it only to blame the republicans after the dead kennedy thing,

and NOW, with reconciliation when it only takes 51 votes, they don't have the votes???

32 posted on 03/07/2010 7:12:03 PM PST by Chode (American Hedonist *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Chode

They’re not voting in the Senate.. They’re voting in the House.. and they need 216 and last time they had 220 but on the other bill which HAD anti-abortion language in it and some other stuff that got votes. Now that stuff ain’t there so Stretch and Pinky are trying to get some side deals written up to get the rest on board.


33 posted on 03/07/2010 7:19:34 PM PST by Track9 (Oh never mind)
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To: freespirited
Article 1 Section 7 of the Constitution says all revenue bills must originate in the House of Representatives. This bill raises revenue but originated in the Senate. What is the story?

The only part of this bill that originated in the House is the shell that Harry Reid gutted to insert the Senate health care bill into (to satisfy that particular constitutional requirement).

It was a dirty trick, and he clearly subverted the clear intent of the Constitution to do it.

This is the Senate bill that is currently residing in the House, and the one that Pelosi is scratching for votes to pass. The actual content of this bill originated in the Senate, not the House, but it retains the House bill number.

34 posted on 03/07/2010 7:22:25 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Track9

Barack Obama is just as unpopular in the Democratically controlled House and Senate as he is out here in flyover country.

Believe it.


35 posted on 03/07/2010 7:29:02 PM PST by Judith Anne (2012 Sarah Palin/Duncan Hunter 2012)
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To: freespirited
This bill raises revenue but originated in the Senate.

Technically , youre wrong.

36 posted on 03/07/2010 7:32:06 PM PST by Nonstatist
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To: upchuck
It's not Health Care Reform, it's Health Care Distruction!

Don't amend it kill it dead!!!

37 posted on 03/07/2010 7:34:12 PM PST by dalereed
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To: upchuck

“With not a single Republican supporting the reform effort, the only option for Democrats now is to have the House pass the Senate version of the bill”

This bill is healthcare-for-illegals and a taxpayer funded abortion bill. It has taxes, mandates and govt control over healthcare...

It’s an abomination. They have noright nor reason to pass it.


38 posted on 03/07/2010 7:42:40 PM PST by WOSG (OPERATION RESTORE AMERICAN FREEDOM - NOVEMBER, 2010 - DO YOUR PART!)
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To: Windflier
it retains the House bill number.

So by retaining the House number Reid kept the option of this 'reconciliation' tactic open in case his changes wouldn't get the votes back in the House.

39 posted on 03/07/2010 7:46:25 PM PST by Track9 (Oh never mind)
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To: behzinlea

“Fourth and goal.”

Exactly, and we are in the last minute of the superbowl and the D team is down by 5.

One last play - a hail mary pass, AN UP OR DOWN VOTE IN THE HOUSE - can make history.

But we have to be clear about this ... THE SENATE BILL IS A BAD BILL AND IT WOULD BE A DISASTER IF IT MADE IT INTO LAW.


40 posted on 03/07/2010 7:47:06 PM PST by WOSG (OPERATION RESTORE AMERICAN FREEDOM - NOVEMBER, 2010 - DO YOUR PART!)
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To: Track9
So by retaining the House number Reid kept the option of this 'reconciliation' tactic open in case his changes wouldn't get the votes back in the House.

If the bill doesn't get enough votes to pass the House, it's effectively dead. It won't go back to the Senate.

If it does pass the House, it could theoretically go back to the Senate for "reconciliation", but it will go to Obama for signing, first, if it passes the House.

Then, the question becomes; what motivation will Obama, Pelosi, and Reid have to make changes to it, once it's passed? It'll be the law of the land.

This is the lie of a promise that the three stooges are strong-arming House members with right now: "Oh, don't worry - we're going to get this right back to the Senate and make all those changes you want, but you gotta vote for it, first."

Would you buy that lie? No, you wouldn't, and neither are a lot of House members.

41 posted on 03/07/2010 7:58:55 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: WOSG

“This bill is healthcare-for-illegals and a taxpayer funded abortion bill. It has taxes, mandates and govt control over healthcare...”

I think that the Rats believe that if they can get this and then pass amnesty that they will have a 30 million strong voting bloc that will keep them in power forever.


42 posted on 03/07/2010 8:07:44 PM PST by EEDUDE
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To: Judith Anne
Barack Obama is just as unpopular in the Democratically controlled House and Senate as he is out here in flyover country. Believe it.

Yes I do believe it but this statist bill is the kind of thing they've been dreaming about for years so in this sense they're all on the same side. But to be honest, I hadn't really considered your point until you made it. When it finally goes down in flames, G-d willing, it will be interesting to see the numbers.

43 posted on 03/07/2010 8:13:48 PM PST by Track9 (Oh never mind)
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To: Windflier

Exactly. QED. I’m curious about the point I made concerning Levin. Is House Ways and Means where Pelosi will get the additional leverage to ‘persuade’ incalcitrant members? I guess I’m wondering where or how specifically she’s doing the arm twisting.


44 posted on 03/07/2010 8:24:47 PM PST by Track9 (Oh never mind)
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To: Windflier

Especially since so many states are flat busted. Those guys are scared to go home anyway, much less with a freaking elephant when they can’t even afford to feed the cat.

Arm twisting will not work. Knee-capping will not work. Nothing will work. The bill bears the stain of Obama’s flop sweat. They all know that if they pass it, they may as well resign the day after.

Of course, I could be wrong. But if Pelosi says it’s a done deal, I’m asking why she needs to say it. If it was, she wouldn’t have to say a thing, now, would she?


45 posted on 03/07/2010 8:32:27 PM PST by Judith Anne (2012 Sarah Palin/Duncan Hunter 2012)
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To: Windflier

I guess the promises that changes will be made to the final bill is one arm and the bribes each member can take back for paying for it at the state level is the other arm being twisted.


46 posted on 03/07/2010 8:45:08 PM PST by Track9 (Oh never mind)
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To: Track9
Is House Ways and Means where Pelosi will get the additional leverage to ‘persuade’ incalcitrant members? I guess I’m wondering where or how specifically she’s doing the arm twisting.

Pelosi is a low IQ, mouth breathing hippie from San Fransicko. She doesn't have the skills to wrangle a bunch of recalcitrant legislators together and get them to vote for something they're scared to death of.

She's basically fallen to simply asking the "no" voters to trust her, Obama, and Reid that they will make it all right after it passes. She's even made statements hinting that passing this legislation is so important, that they should all fall on their swords for it, if need be.

The only threat cards she has in her hand are withholding key committee assignments, or withdrawing party support for members' future congressional races.

I figure that a lot of Dems have read her hand, and aren't impressed. They know that they'll die at the polls, regardless, if they vote for this. Nanzi can't protect them from outraged voters.

With the mood of the country the way it is, and with the American people being so overwhelmingly against this unconstitutional power grab at our liberties, I'm sure some members of Congress are worried that they might not even be safe in their persons, should they vote this thing into law.

I know that would be one of my personal concerns, if I were in their shoes. Just how are they supposed to face the folks back home if they do this?

47 posted on 03/07/2010 8:47:14 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Judith Anne
Arm twisting will not work. Knee-capping will not work. Nothing will work. The bill bears the stain of Obama’s flop sweat.

They all know that if they pass it, they may as well resign the day after.

Or pack their bags for Timbuktu. The country might well explode if this thing passes. All bets are off, if Obama gets his way with this.

At the very least, there will be lawsuits from all over the country challenging the constitutional legality of a nationalized health care law, and many states are already positioning themselves to buck the feds on this, should it pass.

If Obama wants a revolution, this is one sure-fire way to get it started.

48 posted on 03/07/2010 8:54:03 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Track9
I guess the promises that changes will be made to the final bill is one arm and the bribes each member can take back for paying for it at the state level is the other arm being twisted.

I suppose, but those bribes had better be huge, and they'd better be in cash. Enough cash to be exiled for life somewhere outside the continental US.

The feds will have to start a "congress protection program" if they go through with this.

49 posted on 03/07/2010 8:59:38 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: LALALAW
and the no jobs hangover.

Oui.

Especially since health care confiscation is a jobs vaporizer on a nuke-ya-ler scale.

.

50 posted on 03/07/2010 11:46:49 PM PST by Seaplaner (Never give in. Never give in. Never...except to convictions of honour and good sense. W. Churchill)
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