Calif. Democrat Sanchez MIA for Obamacare Vote

Sunday, 21 Mar 2010 08:23 AM

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A key Democrat was missing in action Saturday as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her lieutenants rushed to line up votes for Obamacare.

With just a few remaining but crucial members to be counted, nobody could find Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., according to Roll Call. She missed all the key votes in the House on Saturday.

She was in Florida on a fundraising jaunt, two Democratic sources told Roll Call. While leaders expected her to return for the Sunday vote on final passage, they weren’t assured. Leader now list the Orange County Democrat as a “no” vote.

Early Sunday, Politico’s Whip Count showed 210 confirmed “yes” votes while Fox News said Pelosi had the 216 needed to pass Obamacare.
But it was clear that Democratic leaders are still hunting for a winning coalition of votes — and still struggling for a breakthrough abortion fix that will convert three or four holdouts angling for tougher protections against public funding of the procedure.

Sanchez this week told the Orange County Register that she needs to be satisfied that the health care overhaul is affordable. “The Senate bill is a bad bill,” she told the paper.

Sanchez has a safe seat but she has been wobbly on Obamacare. The seven-term lawmaker has been re-elected with at least 60 percent of the vote since 2000, winning by a decisive 69 percent in 2008. President Barack Obama carried the district by 60 percent.

But Sanchez has demonstrated some hesitance to supporting health care reform, joining 14 other Democrats who voted against the rule governing debate on the House bill back in November, Roll Call reported. She ended up supporting final passage of the measure, but she was the last Democrat to vote, and did so only after coaxing from leadership.


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