Whip Count (No. 16 in a Series) – Five More House Democrats Could Shift From ‘Yea’ to ‘Nay’ Unless Significant Changes to Senate Health Care Bill

By MichaelJames

Mar 11, 2010 9:38pm

ABC News’ Karen Travers reports:

CNN reported today that after a survey of “a number of House Democrats who voted in favor of the November House bill and who also represent conservative or competitive districts, "there are five more who would vote against the Senate bill as written but would support the legislation if there were 'significant changes.'”

It is key to note that these five House members – Reps. Marion Berry, D-Ark., Tim Bishop, D-N.Y., Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., and Bart Stupak, D-Mich. – are not definite “no” votes on the health care bill, but the White House and Democratic leaders will need to put in some work to keep them in the yes column.

CNN also reported Rep. Michael Arcuri could be a no vote, as has been reported in the upstate New York press.

As we’ve previously covered, 220 members of Congress voted for the bill when Pelosi brought the House legislation to a vote.

Since then, four yes votes are no more: Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao, R-La., has said he won’t vote for final passage, Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, retired to run for governor, Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Fla., also retired, and Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., died.

That means to pass the Senate bill, Pelosi starts out with 216 members of Congress who voted yes last time.

With the retirement of Rep. Eric Massa D-N.Y., there are now only 431 members of Congress total, meaning a majority is 216 votes.

-Karen Travers

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