House Speaker Paul Ryan claimed on television Wednesday that the American Health Care Act was gaining in support: “We’re adding votes by the day. We’re adding votes, we are not losing votes.”
It would be lovely if Ryan would share his whip count with us. Because public information suggests that this is the opposite of what happened Wednesday afternoon.
The 25 or so hard noes in the House Freedom Caucus haven’t budged, according to chairman Mark Meadows. And several moderates came out Wednesday afternoon as no votes.
Southern New Jersey Rep. Frank LoBiondo announced he was a no Wednesday afternoon. In his statement, he went so far as to say that the proposed changes aren’t even an improvement on Obamacare: “Simply put, this bill does not meet the standards of what was promised; it is not as good as or better than what we currently have.”
Moderate Iowa Rep. David Young also came out against the bill, calling it a “very good start” that nevertheless “does not yet get it right.”
And Staten Island Rep. Dan Donovan just announced his opposition in an op-ed. This seems to be an direct case of the “Buffalo Buyoff” losing the New York delegation one vote, since Republicans do have one member representing New York City. “Of particular concern to me is a provision added only days before the vote that prohibits New York State from passing Medicaid costs down to county governments,” Donovan wrote. “The proposed amendment exempts New York City, putting an unfair and disproportionate burden on City residents to fund the entire state’s share of the Medicaid bill. That’s wrong. I cannot support a deal that gives our district short shrift.”
On the plus side, leaders did flip Pennsylvania Rep. Lou Barletta back to yes after he declared himself a no yesterday. Leaders will allow him to bring forward a bill later to super-duper-prevent undocumented immigrants from coming anywhere near health care tax credits.
Do not rule out the possibility that this bill passes on schedule on Thursday. The White House and Senate Republicans are reportedly warming to at least trying to insert the regulatory changes conservatives want, and giving those changes a shot before the Senate parliamentarian. If conservatives can get verification that this is more than a stunt, and that Senate Republicans really will find a way to make this happen, it could unlock a lot of votes.
Until then, though, the below tweet tells you where conservatives stand after another day of Donald “The Closer” Trump’s withering pressure campaign.