Politics

As Obama prepares to speak about the way forward on health care, it’s the votes that count

Rep. Baron Hill, Indiana Democrat, voted for the House bill in November. But he told Bloomberg News on Monday that he is concerned about the use of reconciliation to push a health-care bill through Congress — the procedure would circumvent the need for a 60-vote majority in the Senate, where Democrats slipped to 59 votes in January with the loss of Ted Kennedy’s seat in Massachusetts.

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, estimates that there are several House Democrats in conservative districts who will feel pressure, following the Massachusetts election, to vote against a bill that is so intensely disliked by a majority of the electorate, according to polling over the last few months.

As for the pro-life bloc, Rep. Bart Stupak, Michigan Democrat, has said there are around a dozen House lawmakers who will not vote for the legislation passed by the Senate, which they deem insufficient in preventing federal funds from paying for abortions.

Obama’s proposal so far is to keep the Senate bill’s language, which Stupak said last week is “unacceptable.”

Pelosi and other Democratic leaders — House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, of Maryland, and Majority Whip James Clyburn, of South Carolina — have been tight-lipped about specific vote counts.

Pelosi said Sunday she is confident she will have the votes to pass a bill.

Here is a list of the 18 House Democrat who have given an answer on where they stand:

Brian Baird (WA) – UNDECIDED
John Boccieri (Ohio) UNDECIDED
Dan Boren (OK) – NO
Bobby Bright (AL) – NO
Rick Boucher (VA) – UNDECIDED*
Artur Davis (AL) – NO
Lary Kissell (NC) – NO
Suzanne Kosmas (FL) – UNDECIDED*
Frank Kravotil (MD) – UNDECIDED
Dennis Kucinich (Ohio) – NO
Betsy Markey (Colo) – UNDECIDED
Jim Marshall (GA) – LIKELY NO
Jim Matheson (UT) – UNDECIDED
Michael McMahon (NY) – UNDECIDED*
Scott Murphy (NY) – UNDECIDED*
Glenn Nye (VA) – UNDECIDED
John Tanner (TN) – UNDECIDED
Gene Taylor (Miss) – NO

This article originally stated that the special election was to be held March 13.