Earlier in the evening, Fox News declared that Democrats now had the votes in the House needed to pass ObamaCare. But that declaration may have been premature.
Lefty blog Firedoglake.com (David Dayen) has been keeping an outstanding count, and he has a very different take on things in light of Dem Rep. Harry Teague announcing tonight that he will vote "No."
If you look at the numbers below, you understand why this is consequential. Teague puts the definite No votes at 210, with five leaners, four of them part of the Stupak bloc. There are only 8 undecideds left, and 208 Yes votes with leaners. So Pelosi would have to get all 8, including Stupak bloc member Kathy Dahlkemper, and hold Marcy Kaptur (who probably shouldn’t be a lean Yes). Failing that, she could try to flip Glenn Nye, or go to one of her committee chairs voting No (Ike Skelton, Collin Peterson) and ask them to walk the plank.
But that’s a very tough road. And so Pelosi is talking to Bart Stupak. Because there doesn’t look to be another option for passage. That may result in an annual standalone vote on choice in the exchange. It may result in some “tie-bar” legislation (although that is procedurally unlikely). But it’s almost certainly going to result in something. . . .MORE
BREAKING: Even as I prepare this post, I see news reported at Firedoglake.com that Pelosi has reached agreement with Rep. Bart Stupak to allow a vote on his pro-Life amendment in return for his support of ObamaCare. Stupak will reportedly be allowed to present his amendment either before or after the vote on the Health Care Bill. You would think that means it is a done deal, however, the same article says that pro-abortion Democrats are incensed and are threatening not to vote for the Health Care Bill if the Stupak Amendment passes! It just gets crazier by the minute!