Well, you have to hand it to him — Lynch has not only committed to climbing out on that limb, but he’s taking a saw to cut it behind him.
Earlier this evening, outside the House chamber, Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) told AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka that he will oppose the health care bill tonight, despite direct pressure from Trumka that he vote for it. Trumka told me in an interview just afterwards that the vote won’t be forgotten.
“I told him how important the bill was,” Trumka said. “I started off by saying, ‘you agree with me that the status quo is unacceptable.’ Everybody has to agree with that because this system is broken.”
In response, Lynch told Trumka he won’t be changing his mind. “He said he was not going to vote for the bill,” Trumka said. That may come back to haunt him, according to Trumka.
“I’m not going to threaten people over anything–I don’t believe in doing that,” Trumka told me, before describing one potential repercussion for Lynch. “[T]hat’ll be part of what we look at when endorsements comes. This will be a big one. This will have more weight than a lot of the other little ones.”
HCR is going to pass tonight and Lynch has decided to risk political sepukku. If I were Wu or Dunkelbarger, I’d be spending this week reaching out to every union leader in the district for assistance with fundraising. These next few months are going to be very, very busy.