Sen. Coburn to House no-to-yes flippers: Go ahead. Make my day.


Fox News provides the relevant part of the transcript from the Senate Doctors presser:

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., warned Thursday that he and the staff of several other GOP senators will be monitoring with a microscope any potential payoffs to Democrats that materialize down the road in exchange for their vote on the health bill.

“If you think you can cut a deal now and it not come out until after the election, I want to tell you that isn’t going to happen,” Coburn said at a news conference. “And be prepared to defend selling your vote in the House.”

Republicans are playing hardball after several “sweetheart” deals emerged in the Senate-passed health care bill, including the so-called “Cornhusker kickback” — which would spare Nebraska certain Medicaid costs.

That provision was stripped in a package of changes introduced Thursday, but Coburn suggested Democrats might try to avoid the appearance of a quid pro quo — giving something in return for votes — by arranging for juicy payoffs down the road, like a federal appointment or local project.

As Democratic leaders try to win over just a few more hold-outs to reach the 216 votes needed to pass the Senate-approved bill in the House, the feisty Oklahoma Republican said he’ll have his eye out for exactly that kind of deal.

“If you voted no and you vote yes, and you lose your election, and you think (your nomination) to a federal position isn’t going to be held in the Senate, I’ve got news for you — it’s going to be held,” Coburn said.

“No. 2 is, if you get a deal, a parochial deal for you or your district, I’ve already instructed my staff and the staff of seven other senators. We will look at every appropriations bill at every level, at every instance, and we will outline by district, and we will associate that with the buying of your vote.”

FDL’s got the latest news on the Whip count. It’s tight. Very tight. As I wrote on Twitter, I’m sick thinking about all the backroom wheeling and dealing going on behind close doors, using our tax $$ to buy votes for this monstrosity of a “reform” bill in advance of the anticipated Sunday House vote. Have a House member who is wavering on whether or not to vote for this bill? Call them. Email them.

Don’t give up.

More: Check this out:

From The NRCC’s Code Red:

From “Most interesting rumor from the Hill yesterday: Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) who announced his retirement from Congress has been promised the job of NASA administrator in exchange for his vote, and Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.), another retiring Democrat, has been promised an appointment as U.S. Ambassador to NATO in exchange for his vote. It will be interesting to note any job announcements from this Tennessee duo post-House retirement. Both voted against passage of the House bill back in November.”


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