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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A 'No' From Snowe Is Definitely The Way To Go

[Update] Snowe says she is voting for Baucus bill to bring it out of committee.

Malkin reminds people of the numbers to call, fast, like NOW.

Here’s Sen. Snowe’s contact info:

Phone: (202) 224-5344
Toll Free: (800) 432-1599
Fax: (202) 224-1946

The Politico covers the two lines of thoughts on whether Olympia Snowe should cast her vote for the poorly written, expensive Obamacare bill to be voted on by the Senate Finance Committee today.

IF SNOWE VOTES YES: This is clearly the outcome Baucus is rooting for, as he made a lot of concessions to bring her on board, including cutting the no-insurance penalties by more than half. The bipartisan nod Snowe brings to the bill strengthens Baucus’s hand as he, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee’s Chris Dodd merge the Health and Finance committee bills.

Snowe’s buy-in makes it easier for Baucus and Reid to sell reform to moderate Democrats — think Sens. Mary Landrieu, Ben Nelson and Evan Bayh — who are arguably more conservative than their colleague from Maine.

And it positions Snowe to grab a bigger seat at the decision-making table as Reid crafts a bill to send to the Senate floor. Not to mention, the headlines all laud Baucus for landing a Republican vote and give Democrats the “big mo.”

Democrats could overplay their hands: Look for Republicans to push back hard against any narrative that suggests a solitary GOP vote suddenly makes the bill bipartisan.

IF SNOWE VOTES NO: This will be written as a major setback for Democrats, plain and simple.

For Baucus, this one stings because he would have put so much time and effort into wooing Snowe, all for naught. He doesn’t get the hero’s welcome, or a carrot to entice moderate Democrats.

And the failure to win Snowe’s support in Finance will raise questions about whether Baucus and Reid can win her support on the floor. Remember, Nelson (D-Neb.) has said he didn’t want to vote for an all-Democratic bill, and other moderates could be jittery without the bipartisan cover Snowe provides.

As for Snowe, she may find herself with a less influential voice moving forward as Democrats begin to question whether she’s really serious about passing reform. The headlines may be the biggest problem for Dems as they’ll slow the mo' and cast doubts on what should be a very big day for Baucus and reform.

Snowe should not be providing political cover for the Democrats, no way, no how.

If the Democrats want to push through a bill without bipartisan support (although one single solitary GOP vote cannot be considered "bipartisan support"), then let the Democrats do so without political cover. Let them be accountable to the millions of people that have spoken out against Obamacare and let them commit political suicide.

Recent polling has shown that the majority of opposition to Obamacare will cast their 2010 votes with this specific issue in mind.


The new Gallup Poll, conducted Aug. 31-Sept. 2, suggests the issue could be politically potent in 2010. Sixty-four percent of Americans say their representative's position on healthcare reform will be a major factor in their vote in the next congressional election; just over a third say it will be no more than a minor factor.

Opponents of reform have the edge in intensity here. Among Americans who want their member of Congress to vote against healthcare reform, 82% say the issue will be a major factor in their vote in next year's elections. Among those wanting their member to vote for reform, 62% say the issue will be a major factor for them.

Snowe needs to vote no and Democrats need to understand they, and they alone, will be held accountable in 2010.