Over at their whip count site, Republican campaigners are trying to connect the health care vote to a sudden, early announcement by the Department of the Interior this week on increased water allocations to California's drought-stricken Central Valley:
As a vote approaches on Obama and Pelosi’s government takeover of healthcare, Code Red is now considering two supposedly “undecided” California Democrats, Dennis Cardoza and Jim Costa, to now be “yes” votes.
The U.S. Department of Interior announced yesterday that it is increasing water allocations for the Central Valley of California, a region that depends on these water allocations to support local agriculture and jobs. The region has recently been starved for water and as a result unemployment has soared.
The announcement was moved up by six days at the request of the congressmen and both California senators. Their votes may never have really been in doubt, as both voted "yes" in November, but both had been playing the undecided card, and Costa had said he had brought up the water issue during a recent White House chat with President Obama on health care.
Inevitably, bargaining over one issue blends into another. Costa said Friday that he used some of his time with President Barack Obama to urge more consideration for the Valley's water and employment needs. Obama said he understood, Costa reported.