As of last night, we know who the very shy “I’m with Stupak!” group consists of. He has nine followers, one of whom is Republican Anh “Joseph” Cao of Louisiana. The eight Democrats are Marion Berry (Arkansas), Sanford Bishop (Georgia), Kathy Dahlkemper (Pennsylvania), Steve Driehaus (Ohio), Marcy Kaptur (Ohio), Daniel Lipinski (Illinois), Alan Mollohan (West Virginia), and Nick Rahall (West Virginia).
All eight of these Democratic Stupakers had voted for the original House bill in November, as did Stupak.
Cao had also voted Yes in November, but has already announced his firm intention “right now” to vote No this time around.
If you go with the Washington Post‘s “Who’s in play: House health-care whip count“, then here’s the bleak picture that unfolds:
On the other hand, if you go with the NYT‘s “Democrats to Watch on the Health Care Vote“, then here’s how it unfolds:
And then there’s this: it’s not at all clear that Stupak’s seven Stupakers will, in fact, vote against the bill. For example, Kaptur may be leaning towards a Yes vote. And Pelosi is continuing to talk to Kathy Dahlkemper and Steve Driehaus. There may be some grounds for optimism there.
So it’s clear that it’s going to be a real squeaker, but there’s still some room for cautious optimism.
*** Update, 9:30 a.m., Sunday March 21 ***
The NYT now shows 209 Yes votes, with 15 undecided.
Four of the undecideds are non-Stupakers who voted Yes in November. If they vote Yes again — and, at this point, it will be a hell of a surprise if any of them don’t, I think — then only three more votes are needed. The Stupak political suicide squad at this point has seven members (Berry, Dahlkemper, Driehaus, Lipinski, Mollohan, Rahall, Stupak). And there are 4 undecideds who had voted No in November. The last three votes could come either from another Stupak defection or from flipping some of the four No-undecideds.
At this point, I’m willing to venture a small bet that the bill will pass.
(corrected 9:37 a.m.)
*** Update #2, 11:16 a.m., Sunday March 21 ***
One of the No-undecideds has flipped (Brian Baird, Washington); two have confirmed they will vote No (John Tanner and Lincoln Davis, both Tennessee). The NYT page is updated for Baird and Tanner, but not Davis.
After updating for Davis, it would show 210 Yes votes, 4 non-Stupak Yes-undecideds, 1 No-undecided and the 7-member Stupak political suicide squad.
Maintaining the assumption that the 4 non-Stupak Yes-undecideds will vote Yes, two more votes need to be squeezed out by flipping the last No-undecided or engineering some more Stupak defections.
*** Update #3, 11:30 a.m., Sunday March 21 ***
The list of Stupakers I have worked with above was taken from Steve Benen‘s blog. He seems to have revised the list, by dropping Marion Berry and Nick Rahall, and adding Jerry Costello of Illinois, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota.
(I don’t know why, but what keeps coming to mind is the classic quote about blind men in a dark room groping for a black cat that isn’t even there.)
Accepting these changes at face value, the revised math is:
After updating for Davis, it would show 210 Yes votes, 3 non-Stupak Yes-undecideds, 1 No-undecided and the 8-member Stupak political suicide squad.
Maintaining the assumption that the 3 non-Stupak Yes-undecideds will vote Yes, three more votes still need to be squeezed out by flipping the last No-undecided or engineering some more Stupak defections.
*** Update #4, 1:20 p.m., Sunday March 21 ***
It looks like it’s finally finished. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) hosted a 4 p.m. (ET) press conference — he didn’t cancel this time — and announced that Democrats “have an agreement,” struck with the White House and Speaker’s office.
Stupak said the breakthrough came as a result of an executive agreement from President Obama — which will apparently be signed after the legislation becomes law, and which Stupak says will maintain existing law.
Update: White House officials are now saying they count 220 “yes” votes — four more than needed for passage.
*** Update #5, 1:51 p.m., Sunday March 21 ***
The NYT has updated its scoreboard to 216 votes, not 220.
At the time of my 11:16 a.m. update, they showed 210 Yes votes.
Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota — who was a Stupak ally as per my last classification — had announced himself to be a Yes well before Stupak’s 4 p.m. Eastern press conference.
The NYT switched Dahlkemper, Driehaus, Mollohan, Rahall and Stupak to Yes after the (redundant and purely face-saving) Presidential executive order agreement. All five were in my original Stupak list. Rahall was not in the revised list.
Marion Berry and Daniel Lipinski, who were on the original list, are still showing as undecided. In the revision, Berry had been dropped from the list, but Lipinski had been retained.