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Members of Congress Pressured from All Sides in Final Hours Before Health Care Vote

"Whip counts" — the vote counts before the health care vote expected on Sunday — are narrowing. Members of the House feel the pressure, as the congressional switchboard and in-district phones ring off the hook.

by
Charlie Martin

Bio

March 19, 2010 - 11:30 am

In the run-up to the final vote on the Obama administration’s health care proposal, the American Conservative Union today released its list of potential swing votes, urging recipients to “stand up, speak out, and voice your opinion …”

First Last District State DC Phone District Phone
John Adler 3 NJ (202) 225-4765 (732) 608-7235
Jason Altmire 4 PA (202) 225-2565 (724) 378-0928
Brian Baird 3 WA (202) 225-3536 (360) 695-6292
John Boccieri 16 OH (202) 225-3876 (330) 489-4414
Rick Boucher 9 VA (202) 225-3861 (276) 628-1145
Allen Boyd 2 FL (202) 225-5235 (850) 561-3979
Christopher Carney 10 PA (202) 225-3731 (570) 644-1682
Gerry Connolly 11 VA (202) 225-1492 (703) 256-3071
Kathy Dahlkemper 3 PA (202) 225-5406 (814) 456-2038
Joe Donnelly 2 IN (202) 225-3915 (574) 288-2780
Brad Ellsworth 9 IN (202) 225-4636 (812) 465-6484
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin AL SD (202) 225-2801 (605) 367-8371
Tim Holden 17 PA (202) 225-5546 (610) 921-3502
Frank Kratovil 1 MD (202) 225-5311 (443) 262-9136
Betsy Markey 4 CO (202) 225-4676 (970) 221-7110
Harry Mitchell 5 AZ (202) 225-2190 (480) 946-2411
Glenn Nye 2 VA (202) 225-4215 (757) 326-6201
Tom Perriello 5 VA (202) 225-4711 (276) 656-2291
Earl Pomeroy AL ND (202) 225-2611 (701) 224-0355
Mike Ross 4 AR (202) 225-3772 (870) 881-0681
Ike Skelton 4 MO (202) 225-2876 (816) 228-4242
John Tanner 8 TN (202) 225-4714 (731) 885-7070

The ACU list includes several representatives who are reported elsewhere to have made a decision, such as Betsy Markey (D-CO), who was reported in Politico to have announced her intention to vote “yes.”

The differing lists show the difficulty of vote-counting the last few House members  to announce their decisions. Under pressure from the House leadership and President Obama on one hand, but aware of the polls and pressure from constituents on the other, it has become a game of “chicken” on all sides: wait too long and they risk being the vote that appears to decide the fate of the bill, yea or nay. But as long as they haven’t announced their votes, they have the opportunity to be offered bigger “carrots” in the form of potential political spoils.

PJ Media has attempted to contact these House members, both in D.C. and at their in-district offices, but has been unable to get through.

[Update: Roll Call reports that more than 100,000 calls per hour have been arriving at the Capitol, twice the phone system's capacity, for the last four days.]

Charlie Martin writes on science, health, culture and technology for PJ Media. Follow his 13 week diet and exercise experiment on Facebook and at PJ Lifestyle
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