March Madness – Not The One You Are Thinking

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There is a mad rush going on in Congress right now by the Democrats to assemble the 216 House votes necessary to pass the health care bill on which a vote could come as soon as Sunday.

On Tuesday, the Department of the Interior announced increased public water allocations for California’s Central Valley, a big issue for California Democrats Jim Costa and Dennis Cardoza.

On Wednesday, liberal Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) said he will support the bill after four visits with President Obama including an Air Force One trip to his hometown Cleveland. 

Influential anti-abortion Democrat Dale Kildee (D-Michigan) also said on Wednesday that he will support the bill.  “I now find myself disagreeing with some of the people and groups I have spent a lifetime working with,” he said in a written statement.  A bloc of anti-abortion Democrats are concerned about federal funding for abortion under the bill.

The Democrats got increased leverage with fiscally conservative Democrats who oppposed health care in November yesterday when the Congressional Budget Office put the tab for the bill under $1 trillion ($940 million).  In order to do this, they raised the new tax on investment income for the wealthy to 3.8% from 2.9%.  This is in addition to the Senate proposed increase in the regular payroll tax for the wealthy.

Also Yesterday, the Dems got two more converts who voted against a similar bill in November: Bart Gordon (D-Tennessee) and Betsy Markey (D-Colorado).

However, two others who voted for health care in November said they were now leaning against it this time around: Michael Arcuri (D-New York) and Zack Space (D-Ohio).

Nancy Pelosi biographer Marc Sandalow wrote that “This is Nancy Pelosi’s moment” in yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle.

Jim Cramer thinks ObamaCare could topple the stock market.

This weekend and Monday morning should be interesting.  Get your popcorn ready ’cause there’s gonna be a show.

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