Democratic leadership is trying to rally support from House members for a vote on the health care bill Sunday. But President Obama and his allies can no longer look to South Jersey democrat John Adler.
House Democratic leaders are working fiercely to get the 216 votes needed to pass a health care bill on Sunday. But some Democrats are bucking their party, including one congressman from South Jersey.[audio:100319kgvotes.mp3]
Democrat John Adler had voted no on the House version of the bill that passed last year. And this time, he’ll vote no again, on the Senate version. The first-term congressman says the bill doesn’t do enough to control costs. Adler’s district also has a large Republican constituency whose party stance is firmly opposed to the bill.
Margolies: For me it’s an analogous situation to what happened to me in the early 90’s.
Marjorie Margolies was a democratic congresswoman, then known as Margolies-Mesvinsky. She represented the 13th District in Pennsylvania that at the time had a strong republican population. She was the deciding vote on a controversial budget bill. Only, when it came to her vote — she sided with democrats, and lost her next election.
Margolies: I think it’s a very similar year. I think that the mid-terms are not going to be good for democrats, especially freshman democrats and this is an extremely tough vote.
Margolies says Adler’s vote against the health care bill does not guarantee he’ll stay, or go. Ingrid Reed, a policy analyst at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, says Adler’s vote may defy his party, but it represents the majority sentiment in his district. She says she’s not surprised Adler decided to vote against the bill.
Reed: Being a first term congressman I think he’s particular sensitive about where his district is. And a district that’s pretty evenly split between republicans and democrats.
Reed says it appears that Adler is voting in line with his constituents and his own concerns.