The House Healthcare Vote

The House passed the healthcare bill late last night, 220-215. Only one Republican, Joseph Cao (LA-02), voted in favor. Here are the Dems who voted no:

District Incumbent District Incumbent District Incumbent
AL-02 Bobby Bright MN-07 Collin Peterson OH-16 John Boccieri
AL-05 Parker Griffith MO-04 Ike Skelton OK-02 Dan Boren
AL-07 Artur Davis MS-01 Travis Childers PA-04 Jason Altmire
AR-04 Mike Ross MS-04 Gene Taylor PA-17 Tim Holden
CO-04 Betsy Markey NC-07 Mike McIntyre SD-AL Stephanie Herseth Sandlin
FL-02 Allen Boyd NC-08 Larry Kissell TN-04 Lincoln Davis
FL-24 Suzanne Kosmas NC-11 Heath Shuler TN-06 Barton Gordon
GA-08 Jim Marshall NJ-03 John Adler TN-08 John Tanner
GA-12 John Barrow NM-02 Harry Teague TX-17 Chet Edwards
ID-01 Walter Minnick NY-13 Mike McMahon UT-02 Jim Matheson
KY-06 Ben Chandler NY-20 Scott Murphy VA-02 Glenn Nye
LA-03 Charlie Melancon NY-29 Eric Massa VA-09 Rick Boucher
MD-01 Frank Kratovil OH-10 Dennis Kucinich WA-03 Brian Baird

There was also a vote on an anti-abortion amendment, which passed 240-194. Sixty-four Democrats joined all Republicans in voting for this amendment. (John Shadegg voted “present.”)

P.S. I don’t like having to do this, but I’m going to remind everyone in advance to keep it civil on this thread. This is the place to discuss the electoral reasons why members of Congress voted the way they did, and the electoral impacts of those votes. Before you hit “post,” think about whether your comment falls under this description. If not, it’s probably off-topic.

UPDATE: In comments, DCal has a good summary of which Dems in R+3 or redder districts voted yes, and which Dems in R+2 or bluer districts voted no. Also, the NYT has a great interactive chart detailing the Dems who voted no.

331 thoughts on “The House Healthcare Vote”

  1. I think Mary Bono Mack just drew a big target on her back. “Republican majority for choice” my rear end!

    As for Artur Davis, does he honestly believe that this will help him win the Governor’s race? What a craven fool.  

  2. The guy has more undeserving praise then Ronald Reagan. I still don’t understand why some progressives defend him against any criticism, while you can never say anything nice about Minnick or Matheson.

    It’s not like it matters anyways. House leadership uses a “catch and release” strategy that allows conservatives to vote for some things but not others. Tom Delay used this method extensively.

    From Wikipedia:

    Employing a method known as “catch and release,” DeLay allowed centrist or moderately conservative Republicans to take turns voting against controversial bills. If a representative said that a bill was unpopular in his district, then DeLay would ask him to vote for it only if his vote were necessary for passage; if his vote were not needed, then the representative would be able to vote against the party without.

    On that note, it would be interesting to see the no votes for HRC side-by-side with the ACES no votes to see who was caught and who released. Harry Teague comes to mind as one of those who switched.  

  3. It’s the ones who voted yes for HCR and for Stupak that turn my stomach.

    Maybe because it’s so transparent in its politics: vote for the amendment, go home with pro-life cred still intact while also having pushed the legislation forward. Yet it involves pro-life women being thrown under the bus. And so many Democrats voted for it, including ones who are otherwise okay, like Tim Ryan and Tom Perriello.

    I’m not about to go PUMA and say I won’t contribute at all to our 2010 re-election efforts if if Stupak stays in the bill (I care way too much about keeping control of Congress for that) but goddamn it’s a bitter pill to swallow. Like the Obama victory/Prop 8 win all over again.

    Okay, back on topic. Anyone surprised? This is why I’ve never been a huge Kucinich fan. I respect voting against good legislation if you have a real problem, for instance Feingold voting against the recent hate-crimes legislation because it was attached to the war spending that he opposed. But voting against something because it doesn’t go far enough is silly.

  4. I can understand this (though I’m not pleased) because…

    -Less than a week after Christie unseated Corzine.

    -Being the first Dem in that district in 124 years.

    -Winning in a nailbitter (with Obama on the ballot) despite holding a 10 to 1 funding advantage over Myers for the majority of the campaign.

    If Adler wins re-election in 2010, I expect to see a more progressive voting record out of him.

  5. …will this “No” vote on the overall bill really provide cover to those in conservative districts?  I’m wondering if you live in a conservative district and are part of the political party that brings universal healthcare to fruition, will these people be able to say “I voted no so re-elect me” in these conservative districts?

    While I’m more for the diversity in the party than most on here (I like the “wacky coaltion” of dems in the house and Senate), I’m just thinking on this one maybe you’d be better off swinging for the fences and voting yes.  The healthcare bill will be tied to the se conservative dems in the 2010 elections no matter what, no escaping it even with the no vote in my opinion.

    For those of you mroe astute on the 1994 elections, whent he republican wave hit, how did the conservative dems who pushed back on healthcare reform do compared to hose who were for it?  Is my hypothesis proven wrong by the 1994 elections?

  6. How mnay think they, especially Snyder, committed political suicide? Snyder has a strong opponent and he does not raise money in the off-year. Berry may be safer. He has no opponent

  7. I understand that’s not a rock-solid Dem district, but he won it so easily in 2008, seems to have no real threat in 2010, and the district will probably only get more Democratic after redistricting.

    Like others have said, I am sure there are a handful of these who’d have voted “aye” had their vote been needed.  And its nice that we won by more than 218 so we can avoid the “Dem Congressman X was the deciding vote for socialized healthcare…”  Nice work by the leadership to hit more than 218 and Cao certainly helped on that front too.

    How about some praise for the members who probably didn’t do themselves any short term political favors by voting for this.  Just a quick scroll through the roll call makes the following names jump out at me:

    Bean, Berry, Snyder, Carney, Driehaus, Ellsworth, Donnelly, Hill, Dennis Moore, Periello, Space, Spratt, and some others I am sure.

  8. Much has been made over the last 12 hours on the vote made by Artur Davis (AL-07) (D+18) and his vote against the health care reform bill.

    The bottom line : Davis is currently running for Governor of the State of Alabama and did not believe that he could justify a yes vote in his ambition for 2010.

    However, Artur Davis was elected as a Congressman for the 7th Congressional District for his 4th term in 2008. He has a duty to represent his constituency which is one of the poorest, most unemployed and most uninsured in the entire country. He failed that constituency last night and likely miscalculated in his belief that he would not lose voters in his base. I can’t say that I’m surprised based on his recent statements that he would vote against HCR. However, I like many others did hold out hope.

    We do have a chance to replace him with a more Progressive Dem in 2010 – (discussion below the thread)

    cross posted at Daily Kos

    More on the Davis vote/betrayal

    Davis was one of 39 dems that voted against HCR reform and the only African American. Almost all of these were Dems from R+ districts. In fact the only other two from +D, I think were John Barrow and Dennis Kucinich. Barrow is right on the button. Davis also voted for the Stupak amendment. Davis was also only one of 8 that voted against that bill which came from districts Obama won in 2008.

    Of the eight, Obama’s highest percentage came in Rep. Artur Davis’ 7th district where he won 74 percent of the vote. Davis’ vote is rightly understood through a political lens as, despite the overwhelming support for Obama in his district, he is running for governor of a conservative-leaning state next November and wants to safeguard against attacks from Republicans.

    Six of the remaining seven members — Reps. John Adler (N.J.), Brian Baird (Wash.), John Barrow (Ga.), Larry Kissell (N.C.), Scott Murphy (N.Y.) and Glenn Nye (Va.) — represent districts where the President took 55 percent or less in 2008, making their decision to vote “no” strategically defensible

    (The last Democratic member holding an Obama district to vote against the bill was Rep. Dennis Kucinich who, as we all know, is tough to predict.)

    Davis may in fact be chasing windmills in his bid to become Governor. I believed that he might have had a shot to win. However, betraying his base will be costly any way he tries to justify his vote. This is not the first vote where Davis’s vote has been inexcusable for his district. A couple of others that immediately come to mind – Bankruptcy Act 2005, and Hate Crimes legislation.

    Chance to Elect Progressive Dem in AL-07 in 2010

    We will elect a more progressive Dem for this district in 2010. That’s a given in my opinion. This is a race that the netroots should be actively engaged in based on the wishes for Better Democrats. I’m supporting and helping Shelia Smoot who I believe would be the most progressive of the leading contenders. In fact, I was sitting with Shelia last night watching the debate and final vote come in and I know that she would have voted for the passage of the bill and been a strong supporter.

    She understands the needs of the voters in this district. She would be the first African American female elected to Congress from Alabama.

    She is not going to be the well-funded candidate in the race. That will be Terri Sewell – a corporate attorney – and in my opinion the closest to Davis in her ideology and supporters.

    However, I can personally vouch for the fact that Shelia Smoot is a fighter and would be a much more progressive voice in Congress. And she is a leading contender leading the only poll released for this race actually commissioned by another candidate in the race.  

    Shelia understands the need for better access to health care in this district. As a County Commissioner she’s actively fought for keeping open Cooper Green hospital – the indigent care facility in Birmingham. She’s also touring the rural part of the district (known as the Black Belt) and just yesterday was in the poorest part of the District – Perry County discussing health care.

    I’ll stick around for any questions. Shelia is on The Progressive Electorate Act Blue Page if you want to make a donation. She certainly will need our help.

  9. or something to that effect.

    Waht is Christie saying?

    Kucinich badly needs to primaried.

    How is this vote going to help the democrats in the days ahead? I know this is not a very good question particularly with the senate in a flux. But for an administration still consolidating, this better do some work.

  10. for stupak amendment and against final bill: Ike Skelton, Bart Gordon and Collin Peterson.  I’m okay with them caucusing with Democrats, but they shouldn’t be in leadership positions.

  11. There was obviously catch and release involved.  I hope the Senate can get its act together.  All we got to do is get a straight caucus vote for cloture and I think we got it.  

  12. Here is the vote breakdown among Democrats by PVI group:

    R+11 or worse: 0 Yes, 14 No

    R+6 to R+10: 10 Yes, 11 No

    R+3 to R+5: 10 Yes, 7 No

    R+1 to R+2: 15 Yes, 3 No

    EVEN To D+1: 9 Yes, 2 No

    D+2 or better: 175 Yes, 2 No

    Summarized into 3 groups:

    R+11 or worse: 0 Yes, 14 No

    R+3 to R+10: 20 Yes, 18 No

    R+2 or better: 199 Yes, 7 No

    YES votes in R+3 to R+10 group:

    ND-AL Pomeroy (R+10)

    WV-01 Mollohan (R+9)

    AR-01 Berry (R+9)

    IN-08 Ellsworth (R+9)

    PA-10 Carney (R+9)

    OH-18 Space (R+7)

    SC-05 Spratt (R+6)

    AZ-01 Kirkpatrick (R+6)

    IN-09 Hill (R+6)

    WV-03 Rahall (R+6)

    AZ-05 Mitchell (R+5)

    AR-02 Snyder (R+5)

    CO-03 Salazar (R+5)

    VA-05 Perriello (R+5)

    AZ-08 Giffords (R+4)

    TX-23 Rodriguez (R+3)

    KS-03 Moore (R+3)

    MI-01 Stupak (R+3)

    NY-19 Hall (R+3)

    PA-03 Dahlkemper (R+3)

    NO votes in R+2 or better group:

    NY-20 Murphy (R+2)

    NC-08 Kissell (R+2)

    NJ-03 Adler (R+1)

    WA-03 Baird (EVEN)

    GA-12 Barrow (D+1)

    OH-10 Kucinich (D+8)

    AL-07 Davis (D+18)

  13. When we came to the floor to tell Henry Waxman that he was opposed to the bill, Boucher seemed almost kind of sad that he had to vote against the bill. I’m sure that he felt like he didn’t have much of a choice, but that he would have voted for it if he could have. It’s kind of ironic how much this bill would have helped his struggling and uninsured constituents in SW Virginia, but it would have made him a target if he had voted for it. I imagine McDonnell did well in his district and I know that VA-09 was McCain’s best district, even more that Goodlatte’s district. Is Boucher actually in any kind of danger next year?

  14. It’s interesting to note the 8 Republicans who voted yes on ACES just to see how many more Blue Dogs were given political cover. Overall the ACES passed 218 to 215, while HRC was 220 to 215. There are 44 Dems voting “no” on ACES, 39 “no”s on HRC. I get the feeling that Pelosi and Hoyer have a good handle on the Dem caucus. Both of the votes were close, but on the more controversial HRC (my opinion) they were able to pull in more Dems.

    Here are the peeps who crossed the aisle for ACES.

    Dems voting no:

    Jason Altmire (PA)

    Mike Arcuri (NY)

    John Barrow (TN)

    Marion Berry (AR)

    Dan Boren (OK)

    Bobby Bright (AL)

    Chris Carney (PA

    Travis Childers (MS)

    Jim Costa (CA)

    Jerry Costello (IL)

    Kathy Dahlkemper (PA)

    Artur Davis (AL)

    Davis (TN)

    Peter DeFazio (OR)

    Joe Donnelly (IN)

    Chet Edwards (TX)

    Bill Foster (IL)

    Parker Griffith (AL)

    Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD)

    Tim Holden (PA)

    Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ)

    Larry Kissell (NC)

    Dennis Kucinich (purity-OH)

    Jim Marshall (GA)

    Eric Massa (NY)

    Jim Matheson (UT)

    Mike McIntyre (NC)

    Charlie Melancon (LA)

    Walt Minnick (ID)

    Harry Mitchell (AZ)

    Alan Mollohan (WV)

    Glenn Nye (VA)

    Soloman P. Ortiz (TX)

    Earl Pomeroy (ND)

    Nick Rahall (WV)

    Ciro Rodriguez (TX)

    Mike Ross (AR)

    John Salazar (CO)

    Pete Stark (CA)

    John Tanner (TN)

    Gene Taylor (MS)

    Pete Visclosky (IN)

    Charlie Wilson (OH)

    Eight Republicans voted yes:

    Mary Bono Mack (CA), Mike Castle (DE), Mark Kirk (IL), Leonard Lance (NJ), Frank Lobiondo (NJ), John McHugh (NY), Dave Reichert (WA) and Chris Smith (NJ).

  15. the stimulus, Cap and Trade, and healthcare. I really hope she takes on Kyle in 2012 but those three issued would be basically what she’d be attacked on in ads.

  16. How much money have they taken from insurance companies and PACs.

    My feeling is that few Representatives, if any, will help themselves by voting against this bill, and that some will hurt their reelection chances. I think they have made an unprincipled political miscalculation (with the exception of purists Kucinich and, possibly, Massa). Clearly, they disagree that this is a miscalculation (but I haven’t heard any good arguments for why the reforms in the bill are excessive or it busts the budget). Only time will tell who is right.

    It’ll be interesting to see how many of these folks, having demonstrated “independence” by voting against this bill, will decide to vote in favor of the Conference Report, wanting to be part of history, and claiming that their original “Nay” vote led to improvements that enable them to support the bill.

  17. Boyd











    Cao voted NO on this one

    The ones with a * voted yes on the health care bill.

  18. Came out looking like a fool with his present vote.  CSPAN said he was doing this because he thought that if the Stupak amendment failed, the pro-life Dems would oppose the bill, but he didn’t want to actually vote against it. I’m not sure if he was expecting more of his colleagues to vote present along with him, but he ended but being the only member to actually vote present. Also, RTL scored a present vote as a no vote, so his score will be less from them for this year as a result. And did anyone else see the way he exploited that baby on the House floor this afternoon by pretending that she opposed healthcare? Really bizarre and inappropriate in my opinion. Hopefully we can get a good challenger for him this year. I wonder if there will be any coattails from Terry Goddard if he has a strong performance in the governor’s race that could help Giffords, Kirkpatrick, and Mitchell?

  19. 23 Dems voted against Healthcare and Cap and trade:

    Bobby Bright

    Parker Griffith

    Artur Davis

    Mike Ross

    Jim Marshall

    John Barrow

    Walter Minnick

    Travis Childers

    Gene Taylor

    Mike McIntyre

    Larry Kissell

    Eric Massa

    Dennis Kucinich

    John Boccieri

    Dan Boren

    Jason Altmire

    Tim Holden

    Stephanie Herseth Sandlin

    Lincoln Davis

    Chet Edwards

    Jim Matheson

    Glenn Nye

    John Tanner

    Other than Kucinich (that guy has got to go), I can forgive most of these (a few dissapoint me, but I will forgive)

  20. Great stuff thanks! Curious though why didn’t Castle support this bill?  It seems like in such a strong democrat state (Delaware), he’s gonna be really hurt by this vote next year.

    Surprised Cooper from Nashville voted yes, I thought he was in a war with Kos and would definitely be a no vote

  21. For once I am really proud of Blue Dog Leonard Boswell, voting no on the Stupak amendment and yes on the bill. Now, Boswell’s had a pretty strong pro-choice voting record going back to his days in the Iowa Senate, and the final bill included the changes to Medicare reimbursement rates that were a high priority for Boswell.

    Still, I think that Ed Fallon’s 2008 primary challenge has nudged Boswell in the right direction. His voting record is still not good enough for this D+1 district, but it’s a lot better than 2005-2007, when Boswell was always on the list of crappy Dems selling us out. (Boswell voted for the climate change bill in June as well.)

    I am on board with primary challenges to some of our bad House Democrats. They can be helpful even if the challenger loses.

  22. So, I see all these websites set up by bloggers and the Netroots are endorsing these Democratic candidates, like Kratovil, Childers and Markey. After they win, they go up there and do everything in contradiction to what their supporters wanted. Childers for example was endorsed by this very site, yet he has voted against the stimulus and now the health care bill. My question is, is SSP going to endorse Childers in 2010?

    This is a very strange pattern that I notice keeps happening in American congressional races, and both parties could not be any different. Conservative Democrats are publicly denounced, but privately they still receive the support to win reelection. Republicans however both denounce and kick out their liberal moderates.

    But I understand the dynamics. Moderate Dems are the only ones who can get elected in their districts. But it disturbs me that principles have to take a hike for electoral success.

  23. that some of these Democrats be primaried.

    The guys I want to start with are John Barrow and Brian Baird.  These guys represent Obama districts.  We need to find primary challengers for these two.

    And lets try to keep people with courage in office, i.e. Tom Perriello.

  24. Why is it that all the “blue dogs” and conservative Dems, get defended for voting No because they were “caught-and released,” but Liberal Dems get trashed?

  25. Now that the healthcare reform bill contains strict anti-abortion language, I’m left with no choice but to oppose it.  If that makes me a bad a Progressive/Democrat, so be it.  I hope this bill suffers a crushing defeat.

    House Democrats, thanks a lot for stabbing women’s rights in the back.  I won’t give any of you a penny of my money or a minute of my time ever again and I could care less if you all lose reelection.

    1. He’s the only one I have real issue with.  I think Davis is going to be our nominee, unfortunately, for Governor of Alabama.  I wish Sparks would have run for a different position statewide, like the open Treasurer position.  Regardless, the rest of those are understandable votes.  I think we have been giving the House leadership a lot of flak, but they really did a hell of a job here.  

    2. I think TX-23 is R+4 not?

      I like tell all R+3 democratic representatives vote yes to the health care reform. Three of they, Stupak included in blue states.

      Maybe good make groups R+4 to R+5 (6 Yes 7 No) and R+1 to R+3 (19 Yes 3 No). If you take the list of NO in R+3 or better districts is just the same making more ununderstandable the No votes in this group.

      Very interesting your post.

      Im very critic with A Davis. If he can not vote yes because he is running for governor, he should resign previously and let another dem vote yes from his district.

      Why vote no D Kucinich? Is this a no from the left of the text? Very difficult for understand.

      Brian Baird? John Barrow? All the names in the list of No in R+3 or better district let me so cold…

  26. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) PVI  D+11 was one of the catch and release.

    although in his case, he was the only one on politico’s No list that was caught (and changed his vote) as leadership needed his vote for the bill (though it’s possible that the Stupak amendment helped move his vote).  

    1. What are you asking?

      Your literal question is hard to understand.

      Okay, suppose we replace Aderholt, Bachus, Rogers, Bonner and Gregg Harper with five Bright-like Dems.

      1) we get somewhere between 1 and 15 more votes from this group on key votes during the term.

      2) Team Red has conitpition fits, recriminations and is forced to spend a lot of money ousting one or more of them (to prevent someone getting entrenched like Gene Taylor).

      3) As a group the 5 plus Bright become more emboldened by the leftward movement of their constituents and those around him and liberalize their voting so that instead of getting 1 to 15 votes, we get between 4 and 25.

      4) The people of Alabama and elsewhere get in the habit of at least sometimes pulling the D lever so the very best Gov and Senate candidates we run have a chance to win, or force Team Red to spend $ to protect the seats.

      Etc.  All kinds of good things happen that are better for the country, the party, and the future political direction of the nation.

  27. Something I find interesting is the members who voted no on both the Stupak amendment and the final bill.  Some of these I find some logic to (not that I agree with them, because I don’t), either purity votes or suburban members.

    However, it’s interesting to see Boucher, Boyd, Chet Edwards, Kratovil, and Minnick on both lists.  I know for a fact that Boyd has voted at least twice for partial birth abortion bans.


    1. It’s unambiguously clear that Kucinich voted against the bill because he thinks it sucks and considers single-payer the obvious solution. I agree that it’s the obvious solution, but I disagree with voting against something that sucks much less than the status quo, if those are the two choices.

  28. This thread started off on the right track, but quickly got derailed by people who either A) can’t read or B) can’t control themselves or C) are simply disrespectful.

    We’ve decided to suspend the accounts of several of the worst offenders in this thread for a period of one week, and anyone else who helped derail the discussion into the pure policy realm is getting off with a warning. It amazes me how some people think we’re not serious when we ask that you limit your discussion to electoral aspects of the issues, but we are, and users who abuse their posting privileges will have those privileges removed in the future without hesitation.

    1. one for Presidential elections and another for midterms. He’s trying to win over that extra 20% of whites so he doesn’t ever have to have another trough election.

      There was a time a few years ago when I figured he was an Athens liberal. And in reality, that’s probably what all of the white people still think. So I don’t know what he’s getting out of his insanely conservative voting record.  

      1. Which in southern New Mexico probably cost him a lot (I know that Pearce has been trying to hammer him over the head with that vote).

      2. He was a school teacher and a factory worker. I had always thought of Larry Kissell as being on the same level as the average american, not a Washington insider. In addition, I believe that his district is trending blue and that with the election of Anthony Foxx (first democratic mayor of Charlotte in 22 years), his constituents would have wanted a yes vote.

      3. And they are probably better off for using it.  I don’t know if anyone has seen this video, or were watching C-Span yesterday, but Republicans were being assholes.  I would want to run up the score as much as possible on the health care vote as a big “FU” stamped onto the bill.  

      4. His district went for Obama by a 10 point margin iirc and he had significant support from the grassroots last year. His stated reason for opposition to the bill was over the Medicare cuts, but it still seems like he could have voted for the bill and it wouldn’t have been a political liability for him. After all, Bob Etheridge voted for the bill and his district is more Republican than NC-08, plus he is considering running for Senate against Burr.

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