Whip Count (No. 1 in a series): Arcuri From Yes to No?

The Observer-Dispatch reports that Rep. Michael Arcuri, D-NY, who voted yes for the House legislation last November, is inclined to vote no this time.

Though the House legislation was in many ways larger and more comprehensive, Arcuri says he doesn’t like the idea of a “mega bill,” and would prefer it be broken into pieces and passed step by step, he told the newspaper. He isn’t comfortable with the likelihood that the fixes to the Senate bill will be passed in the Senate using reconciliation rules, requiring only 51 votes as opposed to 60. And he doesn’t like those fixes – a tax on high-cost health insurance policies, for instance.

“There would have to be some dramatic changes in it for me to change my position,” Arcuri said.

As we’ve previously covered, 220 members of Congress voted for the bill when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., brought the House legislation to a vote.

Since then, four yes votes are no more: Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao, R-Louisiana, has said he won’t vote for final passage, Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hi., retired to run for governor, Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Fla., also retired, and Rep. John Murtha, D-Penn., died.

That means to pass the Senate bill, Pelosi starts out with 216 members of Congress who votes yes last time. With the pending retirement of Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., there will soon be only 431 Members of Congress total, meaning a majority will be 216 votes.

Arcuri would bring them down to 215.


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