The Hill lists Shuler as ‘undecided’ on health care reform legislation

The Hill, a newspaper that covers Congress when it’s in session, lists U.S. Rep.. Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville, as undecided in its latest survey/tracking of House Democrats’ positions on health care reform legislation.

Shuler voted against the first version of the House legislation of health care reform last November, when the bill passed in a 220-215 vote. The health care reform bill, which would allow millions more Americans access to health care insurance and curb some controversial insurance industry practices, was passed in the U.S. Senate on Christmas Eve.

Since then, lawmakers have been working to merge both bills into one. President Barack Obama has called for a final vote in Congress, and Democrats have been working to line up votes for passage.

The Hill put together its own count of votes by conducting a survey, reviewing media reports and interviewing lawmakers, aides and lobbyists. The newspaper’s story adds the following:

“However, The Hill has not yet put Democrats who are insisting on Rep. Bart Stupak’s (D-Mich.) language on abortion in the ‘no’ category. Stupak has said there are 12 Democrats who supported the House bill in November who will vote no unless his measure blocking federal funding of abortions is melded into the final bill.

“If leadership doesn’t make changes to the abortion language and Stupak does indeed have 12 votes in his pocket, it will be very difficult to pass a bill. Yet if they do change the provisions, supporters of abortion rights in the House will threaten to vote no.”

Shuler voted for the Stupak amendment in November.

The Xpress has called Shuler’s office to ask for a response to The Hill’s count.

Shuler was one of 39 Democrats to vote against the House bill in November 2009. Here’s Shuler talking to Xpress about his vote the day after the vote.


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10 thoughts on “The Hill lists Shuler as ‘undecided’ on health care reform legislation

  1. Jason Sandford

    Greg Newman, a Hendersonville Republican who is running for his party’s nomination to challenge Shuler in this year’s election, issued this press release yesterday:

    After three years of us not knowing how Congressman Shuler will vote, does he now not know where he truly stands?

    By Greg Newman, Republican candidate for Congress

    According to a survey yesterday of Democratic lawmakers in Congress by the Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill, Congressman Heath Shuler is a “no comment” whether he will vote in support of the upcoming trillion dollar healthcare bill. After a yearlong debate over the healthcare bill, understanding that this bill adds trillions to our debt according to most nonpartisan studies, and recognition that the bill must be passed through a reconciliation process in the Senate since there are no longer 60 votes in support of cloture, why is Congressman Shuler still a “no comment”?

    People in Western North Carolina are beginning to see that Congressman Shuler’s claims of “mountain values,” “conservatism,” and “common sense” are merely phrases used for political expediency. When Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the liberals in the House of Representatives need Congressman Shuler’s vote, he will comply just like he did with cap and trade, union card check, increasing the debt ceiling, and voting for trillion dollar deficits years into the future.

    We can do better! Congress needs to start over on healthcare and enact legislation that will drive down overall healthcare costs. We should reform Medicare and Medicaid so these critical programs will not go broke in the near future. We need to enact basic reforms that will expand healthcare coverage to those with preexisting conditions, allow for purchase of healthcare across state lines, and reform medical malpractice laws so doctors and healthcare providers can focus on taking care of their patients instead of practicing defensive medicine. And we need to enact reforms that don’t require trillions in new spending and debt for the next generation.

    Unfortunately, our Congressman has been AWOL far too often on these critical issues and that is why I am running for Congress. I will represent the people of Western North Carolina, not the party bosses in Washington. Most importantly, I will not play partisan politics with our healthcare system, but I will work with all those in Congress, regardless of party affiliation, who are serious about truly making healthcare more affordable and accessible to all Americans without adding billions in new taxes and trillions in debt. To learn more about my plan to improve our healthcare system, go to or contact me at (828) 693-0222.

  2. James Fisher

    I would highly recommend fact checking this legislation, starting with the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reports.The talk of “running up the deficit” do not appear valid. As for “starting over”, that is an almost laughable argument when considering the nearly century long argument on this issue: Teddy Roosevelt anyone? Further, if deficit concerns are the heart of the argument, then perhaps every aspect of government spending should be equally scrutinized, from all social programs to the defense department budget – everything.

  3. Lamont Cranston

    While I agree with the idea of seeing Heath Shuler take on another career besides being our 11th District Representative in DC, I hardly think the choice of the “Failure Party” Republican candidate who believes that the same “solutions” whose policies resulted in the failures we see today qualifies as a sound choice either. If Shuler is this confused about what is needed in his district, then he needs to go into retirement and figure out just what went terribly wrong in his less than stellar career in politics. Does he realize that 23% of his constituents do not have health insurance? Does Rep. Shuler know that unemployment is near 12% in the counties he represents? Does Rep. Shuler even care?

    It’s time for the Democrats to primary Shuler and send him packing along with the “Failure Party’s” Republican candidate.

    Rep. Heath Shuler: Are you listening?


    A Registered Democrat

  4. JWTJr

    James – I’m for health care reform. I work in the industry and see the issues of our current set up every day.

    However, I don’t believe for a second that insuring 45 million people who are not insured will ‘save’ money. Name another big program where the CBO was correct on a long term forecast. Especially 10 years out. They only spent a couple of weeks crunching the numbers. It is a WAG at best. The Medicare and Medicaid numbers get worse every year. Why will this be different?

  5. J

    It’s not a yes or no, but it’s a hat tip. Shuler’s voting against a reconciliation bill:

    Lamont, you’ve got two years to find a primary challenger. You just missed the deadline.

  6. R.Bernier opinions

    Why will Shuler not have Town Hall meetings
    in WNC?

    Will Shuler even debate this year?

    Here is Shuler running away from questions last year:

    Shuler is no blue dog, just a coward waiting to see what direction the wind is blowing.


  7. who

    Hmm, next election are we going to have a real democrat running against Shuler, or just another republican challenge making it, in reality, that either way, a replucican will win.If things go awry for the dems, I could see Shuler switching parties.

  8. JWTJr

    We are now at the point where Social Security payments exceed payroll tax revenue.

    Be wary of CBO projections.

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