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At ‘Kill the Bill’ Rally, Republicans Worry That Pelosi Might Have the Votes

During and after a pair of anti-health care bill rallies on Capitol Hill, I asked a few Republican members of the House — two of whom went on stage — whether they thought the Tea Parties would win out and stop the bill.

“[Rep.] Bart Stupak [D-Mich]” says he has twelve ‘no’ votes,” said Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who spoke at a 10 a.m. rally organized by multiple Tea Party groups. “I can count one — Bart Stupak. I can’t name number two. There’s eleven anonymous people and you can’t count anonymous votes. If you can’t count them, they’re not no votes. I think that’s something that should have been pressed much, much harder.”

At the rally, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) informed Tea Partiers they had “won every inning” of the health care fight and were in the “bottom of the ninth.” After her speech, she made it clear to reporters: “I think it’s a flip of a coin right now whether it will pass or not.”

Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) acknowledged — based on the history of such tough votes — that more Democrats might vote “aye” than were being counted in public “whip counts.” He was hopeful that pro-life Democratic holdouts would be convinced by the argument that “this will be the biggest expansion of abortion since Roe. v. Wade.” But he was also looking past the vote to his home state, where Republicans are looking at legislation to opt out of a health care mandate.

The most confidence I heard came from Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), who said that he’d “heard of” Democrats being fed false information about what could be fixed in reconciliation.

“I know they don’t have the votes right now,” said Broun. “As soon as Nancy Pelosi has 216 votes, we’ll have the vote, even if it’s in the middle of the night.”

King, however, expressed more nervousness.

“I’d rather serve in the minority,” said King, “however long they send me back here to do that, that I would live under this socialism that they’re trying to impose upon us. I can’t sleep at night.”

See a slideshow of the rally here.

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