Obama in New York: Vote for “the Bill You Least Like”

Apparently the secret to passing ObamaCare is for the President to acknowledge that all Members of Congress have something they don’t like about the bill, but to vote for it regardless:

AP reports the President said in New York yesterday:

“The bill you least like” improves coverage for millions, he said in New York. “Let’s make sure that we keep our eye on the prize.”

Seems a little strange to announce this in New York, a blue state, that members need to hold their nose and vote for health care reform. Is this the winning formula? Is holding New York members of Congress becoming tough? And if the President needed to say this in New York, what does this mean for the rest of the country?

The roll call vote on the motion to proceed to S. 1776 is instructive of what happens to a bill that cannot stop the filibuster on the motion to proceed. President Obama and the White House asked Senator Reid to put $247 billion in new spending off budget to buy off the American Medical Association. Majority Leader Reid was embarrassed. The White House, Senator Reid said, wanted him to bring the bill up. He needed 60 votes to stop the filibuster. He got 47 votes. Missed the mark by 13 votes. Here is the simple filibuster math (60 minus 13 = 47.)

Perhaps this is why President Obama did not go public on the vote, he did not want to risk a Chicago is knocked out in the first round of voting despite his personal lobbying for the Olympics type experience.

This is a lesson for everyone: no cloture, no laundry. And 60 votes in the Senate is a tough number to hit, even with 60 Democratic voting Senators (58 Dems and two independents). S. 1776 is dead. The bill did not even make it past the motion to proceed.

Today, AP ran a story questioning whether President Obama has the 60 votes to overcome a filibuster on ObamaCare. Really? Really, really. Here is some of Charles Babington’s piece:

“But the numbers mask a more complicated reality: Obama and Democratic leaders have modest leverage over several pivotal Senate Democrats who are more concerned about their next election or feel they have little to lose by opposing their party’s hierarchy.

One is still smarting from being forced to abandon next year’s election. Another had to leave the Democratic Party to stay in office. And some are from states that Obama lost badly last year.

These factors will limit the president’s ability to play his strongest card – an appeal for party loyalty and Democratic achievement – in trying to muster the 60 votes his allies will need this fall to overcome a Republican filibuster in the 100-member Senate.

When lawmakers face a tough vote, their uppermost thought is “survival,” said Alan Simpson, a Wyoming Republican who spent three terms in the Senate.

On a very few occasions, Simpson said, then-President George H.W. Bush asked him to cast a vote likely to cause him political problems back home. That was perhaps three times in 18 years, said Simpson, who held a GOP leadership post. “I swallowed hard and went over the cliff,” he said.

But it’s a sacrifice that presidents and party leaders should not count on, he said.”

ObamaCare is not a single tough vote. It’s a tough vote on taxes, on abortion, on Medicare cuts, on illegal immigration, on guns, on government control, on the deficit and on spending. And it is a tough year for Democrats in the U.S. Senate. It’s a tough year for President Obama, who suffered the sharpest drop in any President’s approval rating in more than 50 years, according to Gallup.

ObamaCare is a whole bunch of walk the plank votes. The only way to dodge them is to vote against cloture on the motion to proceed. Hmmmmm.

So prepare for the following, many groups will be telling their members to tell every U.S. Senator to vote against cloture on the ObamaCare motion to proceed.  Just like S. 1776.

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