Whip Count (No. 2 in a series): Hunting for YESes In a Field of NOs

By Jonathan Blakely

Mar 3, 2010 2:24pm

The Associated Press’s Chuck Babington surveyed the 39 Democrats who voted NO on health care reform last November and found nine who “either declined to state their positions or said they were undecided about the revised legislation.”

Three of them — Reps. Brian Baird of Washington; Bart Gordon and John Tanner of Tennessee – are retiring.

The others: Rep. Rick Boucher of Virginia, Reps. Suzanne Kosmas of Florida, Frank Kratovil of Maryland, Scott Murphy of New York, Glenn Nye of Virgnia and Michael McMahon of New York, all of whom except for Boucher are freshmen.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., may have another target to add to that list. Today the New York Daily News reports that a source tells them that Rep. Eric Massa, D-NY, will announce later today that he will not seek re-election.

Massa voted NO last time, so he will be under intense pressure to vote yes this time as a retiree. (That is, if he remains in the House. More to come on this one.) *

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-Louisiana, has said he won’t vote for final passage, Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hi., retired to run for governor, Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Fla., also retired, and Rep. John Murtha, D-Penn., died.

That means to pass the Senate bill, Pelosi starts out with 216 members of Congress who votes yes last time. With the pending retirement of Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., there will soon be only 431 Members of Congress total, meaning a majority will be 216 votes.

Rep. Michael Arcuri, D-NY, voted for the bill last November but has said he may switch to a No vote.

- jpt

*This post has been updated.

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