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Posted on on March 22nd, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (

Democrats Who Voted “No” on Health Care Overhaul

Of the 34 House Democrats who voted against health care reform legislation (HR 3590), 26 come from districts that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) carried in the 2008 presidential election and many are expected to face difficult re-election races this fall.

Member                           State                                                       2008 presidential vote in district
John Adler                            New Jersey                                                                          D 52%
Jason Altmire                       Pennsylvania                                       R 55%
Michael Arcuri                      New York                                                                            D 50%
John Barrow                          Georgia                                                                                D 54%
Marion Berry                          Arkansas                                              R 59%
Dan Boren                               Oklahoma                                            R 66%
Rick Boucher                          Virginia                                                 R 59%
Bobby Bright                           Alabama                                                R 63%
Ben Chandler                          Kentucky                                               R 55%
Travis W. Childers                  Mississippi                                            R 62%
Artur Davis                               Alabama                                                                             D 71%
Lincoln Davis                           Tennessee                                             R 64%
Chet Edwards                            Texas                                                    R 67%
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin    South Dakota                                      R 53%
Tim Holden                               Pennsylvania                                       R 51%
Larry Kissell                              North Carolina                                                                 D 52%
Frank Kratovil Jr.                    Maryland                                              R 58%
Daniel Lipinski                        Illinois                                                                                 D 64%
Stephen F. Lynch                    Massachusetts                                                                   D 60%
Jim Marshall                           Georgia                                                  R 56%
Jim Matheson                         Utah                                                       R 58%
Mike McIntyre                        North Carolina                                     R 52%
Michael E. McMahon            New York                                              R 51%
Charlie Melancon                   Louisiana                                              R 61%
Walt Minnick                          Idaho                                                      R 62%
Glenn Nye                               Virginia                                                                                  D 50%
Collin C. Peterson                  Minnesota                                             R 50%
Mike Ross                                Arkansas                                               R 58%
Heath Shuler                          North Carolina                                     R 52%
Ike Skelton                             Missouri                                                 R 61%
Zack Space                             Ohio                                                         R 53%
John Tanner                          Tennessee                                               R 56%
Gene Taylor                           Mississippi                                             R 67%
Harry Teague                        New Mexico                                           R 50%


The Washington Post MORNING FIX:

Health care vote ends, political fight begins

With the health care debate now over, the debate over what it will mean politically in both the 2010 midterms and the 2012 presidential fight can begin in earnest. The first week (or two) of the post-passage debate will be absolutely critical in determining whether — and how — public opinion about the bill changes. With that in mind, we sought out top party strategists for both sides to seek their advice about what their side should be saying today, tomorrow and next month about the bill. The results are below.

If you missed the final vote count, it’s here.

1. First, the Democratic argument:

1) History: Several party operatives said the best thing the party can do is to focus on the historic nature of what has passed and on the prior attempts that didn’t work. (Expect to hear Democrats point out that seven prior presidents tried and failed to reform the health care system before Obama.) “This is a victory for the American people and a vote people will look back upon for generations that ‘yes’ we can tackle the big challenges,” said one operative.

2) Standing on principle: Democrats acknowledge privately that there is considerable short term risk to passing the bill. The best way to mitigate that risk, according to one senior operative, is to turn the debate into a choice not a referendum. The preferred Democratic frame? They are the “only party that stood up to the insurance companies” while Republicans have proven that they are “willing to throw the country overboard,” said one source.

3) Jobs, jobs, jobs: Democrats have long argued that the health care bill amounts to a jobs bill as it will free up small business to hire without incurring crippling costs. “By reforming a health care system that was economically unsustainable, Americans will be better able to compete for and win the jobs of the 21st Century,” explained one senior party strategist.
2. And now the Republican messaging:

1) Bucking public opinion: With polling suggesting a majority of Americans oppose the bill, Republicans will argue that Democrats are passing it despite their constituents making clear they don’t want it. “This is an arrogant majority that dismisses public opinion as a nuisance and is clearly in need of a check and balance on their unbridled power,” said one senior Republican strategist.

2) Fiscal trickery: Republicans want to puncture a hole in the Congressional Budget Office scoring of the bill that says the bill will cut the deficit. Former White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove tried out this line of attack during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, arguing that the deficit is reduced by the Obama plan only if billions in Social Security payroll taxes and Medicare cuts are, in effect, double counted. Rove described the process as a “Bernie Madoff-style accounting in which they double-count money and ignore enormous costs.”

3) Process: The key component of the Republicans’ message strategy from the Senate’s passage of the health care bill in late December until now is to make as much of the sausage-making in the legislation part of the public debate. You can bet that the moment the bill passed last night Republican opposition researchers began pouring over the minutiae of the legislation, looking for the next “Cornhusker Kickback” or “Louisiana Purchase.” The more they find, the better chance they have of winning the public relations battle.

ALSO READ: The Post’s Dan Balz on the whether this is the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end for Democrats on health care and the Fix’s five biggest myths about the health care fight.
3. All six party committees have filed their fundraising reports for the month of February and there’s good news for each side.

The three Republican organizations — the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee — outraised their Democratic counterparts by approximately $1.6 million for the month, a trend line GOP strategists have to be happy about.

Despite being outraised for the month, however, the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ended February with a combined $44.3 million in the bank as compared to $28.5 million for the Republican committees. The biggest cash-on-hand gap was between the DCCC ($19.3 million) and the NRCC ($6.1 million) while the smallest differential was between the DSCC ($14.3 million) and the NRSC ($12.9 million).

One other thing to keep an eye on is debt — the three Democratic committees have a total of nearly $5 million in debt as compared to no debt for the trio of Republican organizations.
4. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, an all-but-certain Republican presidential candidate in 2012, called for a more aggressive approach to Iran as it pursues nuclear capability in a closed-press speech to the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Sunday night in Washington, according to a source in attendance. Pawlenty called it “inexplicable and inexcusable” that the United Nations Security Council had not ramped-up sanctions despite Iran’s recalcitrance: “The Security Council was created to address threats to international peace and security, but it continues to sleep while Iran continues to enrich,” said Pawlenty.

Of the broader Middle East, Pawlenty said the best course of action for the U.S. government is to “further strengthen a strategy to build Palestinian institutions in the West Bank and cultivate a new, peaceful Palestinian political elite — one that rejects terror.” He added that the United States “must always stand squarely and indivisibly” with Israel.

(Pawlenty is also hosting an event for Jewish Republicans at a hotel in downtown D.C., according to a GOP source.)

Pawlenty is moving on a number of fronts as he prepares for his 2012 candidacy but none require as much care and feeding as his foreign policy profile. Pawlenty, like much of the rest of the 2012 field, has little to no foreign policy/national security experience and must bone up on the issues prior to facing off against President Obama in 2012.

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