From a top level source in the House comes the news that the Democrats are still short of the 216 votes they need to pass Obamacare. They have decided, however, to go for broke on Sunday and attempt to pass it whether or not they have enough support. They feel that only by forcing a vote can the force members off the fence. They hope that by employing all means at their disposal, they can round up enough votes for passage. But, if they don’t have the votes, they will allow the measure to be defeated. One source called it a “suicide run.”  Dick Morris.com

The Hill’s survey/tracking of House Democrats’ positions on healthcare reform legislation

UPDATED: 3/20/10 at 5:31 p.m.

RECENT UPDATES: Reps. Henry Cuellar, Shelley Berkley, Marcia Fudge, Ciro Rodriguez, Sanford Bishop, Chris Carney, Dennis Cardoza, Melissa Bean, John Tanner, Ike Skelton, Jim Costa, Jerry McNerney, Bruce Braley, Paul Tonko, Mike Quigley, Mary Jo Kilroy, Baron Hill, Tim Holden, Bill Owens, Mike Ross, Bart Stupak, Marion Berry, John Barrow, Harry Teague, Michael Arcuri, Scott Murphy, Harry Mitchell, John Salazar, Tim Bishop, Bob Etheridge, Suzanne Kosmas, Jim Matheson, Brad Ellsworth, Jason Altmire, Joe Courtney, John Adler, Allen Boyd, Adam Smith, Dina Titus, Chris Murphy, Peter DeFazio, Lincoln Davis, John Boccieri and Charlie Wilson

House Democrats not on this list are expected to vote yes.

All House Republicans are expected to vote no, but President Barack Obama has reportedly called Rep. Joseph Cao (R-La.) to urge him to vote yes. However, Cao, who is a proponent of the Stupak language, is still expected to reject the bill.

If every member votes and all GOP lawmakers vote no, the maximum number of Democratic defections to pass a bill is 37, which would result in a 216-215 tally.

* — Voted for Stupak amendment in November
(Y) — Voted yes in November
(N) — Voted no in November

Firm No, Leaning No, Likely No (35)

John Adler (N.J.)
(N) Adler announced March 18 he will vote no
Jason Altmire (Pa.) * (N) Announced March 19 he is going to vote no, saying, “I strongly believe that a vote in opposition to the health care bill is consistent with the views of the district I represent.” On March 16, Altmire told Fox Business Network that he has major problem with Democrats’ “deem and pass” strategy, calling it “wrong.” Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) told McClatchy Newspapers earlier this month he was targeting Altmire
Michael Arcuri (N.Y.) (Y) He is now a firm no. His statement reads, “And after several meetings and conversations with the president, Speaker of the House, administration officials and colleagues, I am not convinced enough changes can be made to the Senate health care bill to meet the needs of the people in my district.”
John Barrow (Ga.) * (N) Announced on March 19 he is a no. Barrow told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “It puts too much of the burden of paying for it on working folks who are already being overcharged, and that’s not fair. It threatens to overwhelm Medicaid in Georgia, and that’s not right. And it barely touches the insurance companies, and that’s not smart.” Barrow had been considered a likely no vote. He voted no last year in committee and on floor.
Marion Berry (Ark.)
* (Y) Berry has not been talking publicly recently. Berry, who is retiring, could be a yes. However, he has been critical of the president since announcing his retirement. Strong backer of Stupak language. Voted yes in Budget Committee markup on March 15. He voted no on climate change last year
Dan Boren (Okla.) * (N) Won’t be changing his mind — firm no
Rick Boucher (Va.) (N) GOP target who has told local press outlets in Virginia he has major problems with Medicare cuts and “unsavory dealmaking” that benefited Nebraska, Louisiana and Florida. Leaning no
Bobby Bright (Ala.) * (N) Voted against House health bill, stimulus and climate change. Firm no
Ben Chandler (Ky.) * (N) His office told The Hill on March 15: “Congressman Chandler’s position on the bill remains the same. He expects to vote against the legislation.”
Travis Childers (Miss.) * (N) Told the Daily Journal he will vote no, citing lack of strong language on abortion funding. From Childers’s statement: “While I cannot vote for current House legislation, I remain committed to effective, fiscally responsible healthcare reform that makes sense for North Mississippi.”
Jerry Costello (Ill.) * (Y) One of his senior aides, David Gillies, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Costelllo will vote no on the Senate bill. Most of the calls, e-mails and letters he has received have advised a no vote. His office did say he was “undecided” on the reconciliation legislation if it comes up for a vote.
Artur Davis (Ala.) * (N) Running for governor, but will make sure to return to D.C. to vote no
Peter DeFazio (Ore.) (Y) The Huffington Post reported March 19 that DeFazio is a no unless changes are made to provisions pertaining to Medicare disparity reimbursements. There are likely going to be some tweaks to the language, securing DeFazio’s vote. However, DeFazio voted against the stimulus and climate change bill so he is not one to cave if he doesn’t get what he wants. Without a change, DeFazio has made it clear he is a no
Joe Donnelly (Ind.) * (Y) Among the Stupak dozen — will vote no unless abortion language in Senate bill is changed, according to The Rochester Sentinel
Steve Driehaus (Ohio) * (Y) In toss-up race in November who is ardent backer of Stupak language. Now sounds like a very firm no. Told the Cincinnati Enquirer, “They are going to have to do it without me and without the other pro-life Democrats.” His spokesman told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer: “Unless changes are made to the abortion language in the Senate version, Rep. Driehaus will be voting no.”
Chet Edwards (Texas) (N) Perennial GOP target. Edwards spokesman told CNN he will vote no. Votes no at March 15 Budget Committee markup
Larry Kissell (N.C.) (N) GOP target, but reelection chances on the rise. Firm no
Frank Kratovil (Md.) (N) Voted for climate change; says he will vote no
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (S.D.) (N) Congresswoman told the Rapid City Journal she’s a no, noting she is not a fan of reconciliation. She also voted no on education reform bill expected to move in reconciliation with healthcare reform
Tim Holden (Pa.) * (N) The Morning Call reported March 20 that Holden received a call from President Barack Obama, and told him he will be voting no. Has expressed concerns about cuts to Medicare. Voted against healthcare and climate change in 2009.
Daniel Lipinski (Ill.)
* (Y) Will not vote for abortion language in Senate bill, but has other concerns as well. Democratic leaders cannot count on Lipinski
Stephen Lynch (Mass.)
* (Y) Says he will vote no. Proponent of Stupak language. Has major problems with “deem and pass” strategy. Told Politico, “I don’t buy the argument that he’s done if this doesn’t pass. He’s got three more years. He can recover.”
Jim Marshall (Ga.)
* (N) Perennial GOP target, but favored to win reelection. Told The Hill he’s a no
Mike McIntyre (N.C.) * (N) Seven-term lawmaker rejected House health bill and climate change. Spokesman tells The Hill McIntyre is a no. Expected to win reelection easily even though Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) won district
Mike McMahon (N.Y.)
(N) Suggested last month he was a no to the Staten Island Advance. McMahon told The Hill on March 12 he is leaning no. Voted no on education reform bill that is expected to move with healthcare reform in reconciliation
Charlie Melancon (La.)
* (N) Senate hopeful voted no in November and no in committee. Likely no
Walt Minnick (Idaho) (N) One of the House’s most conservative members. Firm no
Collin Peterson (Minn.)
* (N) Ag chairman not shy in bucking leadership. Firm no
Nick Rahall (W.Va.)
* (Y) The Hill reported March 19 that Rahall is involved in discussions with Senate on abortion provisions. Told the Charleston Daily Mail that he will vote no unless abortion language is changed. Rahall is third committee chairmen on this Firm No, Leaning No, Likely No list. Rahall voted no on climate change bill in 2009
Mike Ross (Ark.) * (N) AP reported March 19 that Ross is a firm no.
Heath Shuler (N.C.)
* (N) CNN reporting Shuler is a no. Doesn’t hold his tongue when he opposes Democratic leaders. Critic of reconciliation. Gannett New Services reports Shuler is leaving himself wiggle room. Shuler said: “Until I know the details of the final bill and the process, I am reluctant to draw a line in the sand.”
Ike Skelton (Mo.) * (N) GOP targeting his seat. Armed Services Committee chairman is a firm no. He reiterated his no vote on the House floor on March 20
Bart Stupak (Mich.) * (Y) Was going to hold March 20 press conference with “other pro-life Democrats,” but is was canceled on Saturday morning. Many believe the press conference was to announce a deal with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), but any deal is off — at least for the moment.
Gene Taylor (Miss.)
* (N) Has been a firm no all Congress. Constituents last summer urged him to get others to vote no
Harry Teague (N.M.)
* (N) Announced March 19 that he is a no and ripped the bill for doing more for insurance companies than the uninsured: “In fact, I believe we are doing more for the insurance companies than we are for the people who need this coverage, and that is why, despite the positive steps it takes, I must vote against this bill.”

Firm Yes (52)

Joe Baca (Calif.) * (Y) Must-have for leadership and was at 3/18 CHC press conference where lawmakers announced they would vote for the bill Melissa Bean (Ill.) (Y) Centrist announced on March 20 she will vote yes
Shelley Berkley (Nev.) (Y) Announced that she is a yes vote
Sanford Bishop Jr. (Ga.) * (Y) Favors Stupak provision, but will vote yes
Tim Bishop (N.Y.) (Y) Must-have vote for leadership. Bishop’s office told CNN that the New York lawmaker wants major changes to Senate bill. Voted yes in March 15 Budget Committee markup
John Boccieri (Ohio) * (N) Announced he will vote yes at a March 19 presser. He said: “Yes, I will be voting yes for the bill. I was very encouraged by the budget results that came back from the Congressional Budget Office.” Clyburn had publicly said he was leaning on Boccieri, who is in a tough reelection race
Leonard Boswell (Iowa)
Firm yes
Allen Boyd (Fla.) (N) Big yes for Democrats. Boyd said on March 19 he is a yes. Voted no on March 15 during Budget Committee markup and voted no on last year’s bill
Dennis Cardoza (Calif.) * (Y) After Speaker ditched “deem and pass,” Cardoza announced his support of bill on March 20
Russ Carnahan (Mo.) (Y) Announced his support of bill on March 18. In competitive race this fall, but should win
Chris Carney (Pa.)
* (Y) Big yes vote for Democratic leaders. Announced his vote on March 20. On March 19, Carney was seen on the floor talking to Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.). Carney this month told the Scranton Times-Shamrock, “As I said publicly, I can’t vote for a bill that will publicly fund abortion.”
Jim Costa (Calif.) * (Y) Costa told Politico on March 20 that he will vote yes.
Joe Courtney (Conn.) (Y) Announced on March 19 he is a yes. Had expressed concerns about excise tax
Brad Ellsworth (Ind.) * (Y) Seneta hopeful said on March 19 he is a yes, which is a huge get for Democratic leaders
Henry Cuellar (Texas)
* (Y) Cuellar announced on March 20 that he is a yes. Under pressure from Speaker and the president, Cuellar backed the climate change bill and House healthcare measure last year.
Eliot Engel (N.Y.) (Y) Said on MSNBC March 19 he is a yes, but that was expected
Bob Etheridge (N.C.) * (Y) Announced March 19 he is a yes
Marcia Fudge (Ohio)
(Y) Fudge announced this weekend she is a yes vote. Obama lobbied for her vote, giving her a ride on Air Force One on March 15
Dale Kildee (Mich.) * (Y) Not one of Stupak’s Dozen
John Garamendi (Calif.) (Y) Vowed last summer to vote against any bill without a public option, but his office says Garamendi is a firm yes and will keep fighting for the public option
Bart Gordon (Tenn.) * (N) Gordon said in a March 18 statement on the bill: “I am supporting it.”
Luis Gutierrez (Ill.) (Y) Said at a March 18 press conference he will vote for the bill because he got a renewed commitment to immigration reform from President Barack Obama.
Raul Grijalva (Ariz.) (Y) Grijalva was at 3/18 CHC press conference where lawmakers announced they would vote for the bill
Debbie Halvorson (Ill.) (Y) Announced on March 20 she is a yes
Baron Hill (Ind.) * (Y) Announced on March 20 he is a yes
Steve Kagen (Wis.) (Y) Told Fox 11 in Wisconsin that he prefers more incremental approach. But on March 13 he said, “We’re going to find and secure enough votes to pass healthcare … “
Mary Jo Kilroy (Ohio)
(Y) Announced on March 19 she will vote yes.
Ann Kirkpatrick (Ariz.) (Y) Congresswoman on March 16 said she’s a yes, asserting bill will enhance the healthcare of children and seniors. Kirkpatrick voted against climate change bill in 2009. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) won Kirkpatrick’s district by 10 points in the 2008 presidential election
Suzanne Kosmas (Fla.)
(N) In a big boost to the chances of health reform passing, Kosmas announced on March 19 she is a yes. President Obama urges her to support the measure during a recent meeting in the Oval Office, according to March 16 AP report. Kosmas voted no last year
Dennis Kucinich (Ohio) (N) His yes vote, announced on March 17, is a huge boost to the chances of healthcare reform passing. Kucinich is first no vote in 2009 to commit to voting for yes. Before supporting bill, Kucinich had blasted it on cable news networks
David Loebsack (Iowa) (Y) Will vote yes
Dan Maffei (N.Y.) (Y) On March 16, Maffei said, “I’m proud to support this legislation.”
Betsy Markey (Colo.)
(N) The Denver Post reports she will vote for the bill.
Harry Mitchell (Ariz.)
(Y) Announced on March 19 he will vote yes. Big pickup for Democrats
Richard Neal (Mass.) * (Y) Fan of Stupak language, but will vote yes
Jim Oberstar (Minn.) * (Y) Wants Stupak language but told Politico of Senate bill: “On balance, it does what we need to do.”
Bill Owens (N.Y.)
(Y) Announced on March 20 he will vote yes. Latest upstate New York Democrat to vote yes, following Reps. Scott Murphy and Dan Maffei.
Chris Murphy (Conn.) (Y) GOP target said on March 19 he will vote yes
Scott Murphy (N.Y.)
(N) Announced on March 19 he is a yes. Murphy was personally lobbied by President Barack Obama and later, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Soon after meeting with Pelosi on March 19, he announced he was a yes vote
Silvestre Reyes (Texas) * (Y) Intelligence panel chairman on board
Ciro Rodriguez (Texas)
* (Y) San Antonio Express-News reporting that Rodriguez is a yes vote. Considered by Cook Political Report to “likely” retain seat. Bucked his leadership by voting no on climate change measure last summer
Tim Ryan (Ohio) * (Y) On March 16, Ryan said on the House floor, “We need to pass this bill.” Congressman voted for Stupak language
John Salazar (Colo.)
* (Y) GOP target told the Denver Post he is a yes
Mark Schauer (Mich.) (Y) Told the Citizen Patriot he will vote for the bill. Schauer said: “I needed to see the bill and the Congressional Budget Office score. The bill fundamentally does what I hoped it would.”
Adam Schiff (Calif.) (Y) Firm yes
Carol Shea-Porter (N.H.) (Y) Spoke out favorably on healthcare reform on the House floor on March 16. In a toss-up reelection race, according to Cook Political Report.
Adam Smith (Wash.) (Y) Will approve bill
Vic Snyder (Ark.) * (Y) Has gone from lean yes to firm yes. Not seeking reelection
Betty Sutton (Ohio) (Y) Told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer: “The legislation is not perfect and indeed contains provisions that I will continue to strive to improve, but I will vote for the bill.”
Dina Titus (Nev.) (Y) Announced on March 19 she is a yes
Paul Tonko (N.Y.)
(Y) Said on March 19 he will vote yes
Charlie Wilson (Ohio) * (Y) Announced on March 19 he is a yes. Considered less vulnerable this fall than other Ohio Democrats.

Leaning Yes or Likely Yes (14)

Gerry Connolly (Va.) (Y) Obama to visit Connolly’s Fairfax, Va.-district on Friday. But Obama doesn’t have to worry about Connolly’s vote. He is a very likely yes. Voted yes in Budget Committee markup on March 15
Mike Doyle (Pa.) * (Y) Doyle told The Hill on March 16 that he will likely vote yes
Gabrielle Giffords (Ariz.) (Y) Was one of 10 Democrats to vote with Republicans on resolution criticizing “deem and pass” strategy on March 18. But GOP target will likely vote yes, according to Arizona Daily Star
Jim Himes (Conn.) (Y) Must-have vote for leadership. Likely yes
Jim Langevin (R.I.) * (Y) Langevin’s seat not in danger this fall. He has previously fended off primary challenges. Voted yes in March 15 Budget Committee markup
Jerry McNerney (Calif.
) (Y) KGO-TV reported on March 20 that McNerney is leaning yes
Mike Michaud (Maine) * (Y) Likely yes
Dennis Moore (Kan.) (Y) Retiring this year. New Budget Committee member voted yes in March 15 markup
David Obey (Wis.)
* (Y) Waiting to review bill language; likely yes
Tom Perriello (Va.)
* (Y) Said he will vote yes on March 19 if gets assurance from 51 senators that bill will be amended in the upper chamber. In toss-up race this fall; Pelosi had long talk with the Virginia Democrat on March 10 on the House floor
John Spratt (S.C.) * (Y) Budget Committee chairman is in competitive reelection race. Spratt will soon be trying to collect votes for his budget resolution. Voted yes in Budget Committee markup on March 15
Anthony Weiner (N.Y.) (Y) On March 12, Weiner noted that 290 times this Congress, the Senate has failed to act on bills passed by the House, adding, “Fool us once, shame on you, fool me 290 times, shame on us.” Regardless, Weiner is a very likely yes
David Wu (Ore.) (Y) His office told NPR he is leaning yes, but the only floor vote he missed, on March 18, was the motion to table the GOP resolution condemning the “deem and pass” strategy. Was undecided for three hours during 2003 Medicare drug vote, then voted with the GOP. Republicans are targeting Wu this fall
John Yarmuth (Ky.) (Y) Considered a team player. Likely yes. Voted yes in Budget Committee markup on March 15

Undecided/Unclear (23)

Brian Baird (Wash.) (N) Retiring member who bucked party on Iraq war surge. Another target of Clyburn
Bruce Braley (Iowa) (Y) Expected to vote yes, but kcci.com reported Braley is concerned about Medicare cuts
Michael Capuano (Y) Wanted to be a senator, but doesn’t trust the Senate. TPM reported that Capuano is leaning no. In an e-mail to supporters, Capuano said he has many problems with Senate measure
Jim Cooper (Tenn.) * (Y) Has had up-and-down relationship with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
Kathy Dahlkemper (Pa.) * (Y) GOP target. Her yes vote could be key to passage. Strong backer of Stupak language
Lincoln Davis (Tenn.) * (N) The Hill on March 19 moved Davis from Likely No category to Undecided column. Voted no in November, but has been avoiding requests for comment
Bill Foster (Ill.) (Y) GOP target who voted no on climate change last year.
John Hall (N.Y.) (Y) Democratic leaders may lose other Dems from N.Y., but need to keep Hall on board
Paul Kanjorski (Pa.) * (Y) GOP target. Also voted against education reform bill that will move with healthcare reform in reconciliation
Marcy Kaptur (Ohio) * (Y) Voted with leadership first time around, but doesn’t toe the party line. Wants Stupak language but that’s not a deal breaker. Voted yes during Budget Committee markup. Likely to move to lean yes category soon
Ron Kind (Wis.) (Y) Represents competitive district. Voted against bill in committee
Ron Klein (Fla.) (Y) GOP target
Jim Matheson (Utah) * (N) The Hill on March 19 moved Matheson from Likely No to undecided. Voted no last year, on the floor and in committee
Alan Mollohan (W.Va.) * (Y) In November, seat was considered safe. Now, he’s in a tight race
Glenn Nye (Va.) (N) In toss-up race. Voted no on climate change in 2009
Solomon Ortiz (Texas) * (Y) Was a late yes last time around. Rejected climate change last June
Earl Pomeroy (N.D.) * (Y) Voted against bill in committee, and for it on the House floor. Rejected climate change bill last year
Mike Quigley (Ill.) (Y) Late addition to this list. The Chicago Sun Times reported March 20 that Quigley said he will not vote for bill if a deal is make with Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) on abortion. Quigley, who replaced Rahm Emanuel in the House, said he talked to White House political adviser David Axelrod on March 19
Bobby Rush (Ill.) (Y) Surprise addition to this list. Said he was undecided on March 18. The Hill reported that Rush engaged in several discussions with leadership lawmakers after announcing his position. Concerned about bill’s impact on hospitals in poor areas. Still, liberal congressman is a likely yes. Rush defeated Barack Obama in 2000 House primary
Loretta Sanchez (Calif.) (Y) Was a late yes in November
Kurt Schrader (Ore.)
(Y) Budget Committee member didn’t vote during March 15 markup. In competitive reelection race.
Zack Space (Ohio) * (Y) Voted yes in committee and yes on the floor last year
John Tanner (Tenn.) * (N) Tanner as of March 20 still undecided. House deputy whip is not running for reelection, but he still will need to be convinced to get to yes. Voted no in committee and on floor last year

Republicans assail IRS provision in health care bill

The Hill – By Vicki Needham –

House Ways and Means Republicans on Thursday assailed a provision in the proposed health care reform bill under consideration this week.

Subcommittee on Oversight ranking member Charles Boustany (R-La.) said the IRS provision in the bill “dangerously expands, in an ominous way the tentacles of the IRS and it’s reach into every American family,” he said today during a press conference.

“This is a vast expanse of power,” he said.

Boustany said the bill would allow the IRS to confiscate refunds if there are penalties for not buying health care.

Lawmakers have questioned whether the IRS can handle the increased workload to oversee, administer and collect penalties for people who don’t buy health insurance.

“This is increasing tax liability and tax scrutiny,” said Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.).

Ranking member Dave Camp (R-Mich.) said many Americans have already rejected the call for health care reform for other reasons and an expansion of the IRS should only add to call to “kill the bill.”

Taxpayers could be required to buy insurance under President Barack Obama’s reform proposal by 2014 or face penalties of roughly $325 per individual that the IRS would collect.

Assuming it becomes law, the Congressional Budget Office expects the IRS will need roughly $10 billion over the next 10 years and nearly 17,000 new employees to meet its new responsibilities under health reform.

“We’re going to fight to the end to see that this does not pass,” Boustany said.

Chart Illustration by Tommy Downs

Caterpillar: Health care bill would cost it $100M

Dow Jones Newswires |

Caterpillar Inc. said the health-care overhaul legislation being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives would increase the company’s health-care costs by more than $100 million in the first year alone.

In a letter Thursday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio, Caterpillar urged lawmakers to vote against the plan “because of the substantial cost burdens it would place on our shareholders, employees and retirees.” Caterpillar, the world’s largest construction machinery manufacturer by sales, said it’s particularly opposed to provisions in the bill that would expand Medicare taxes and mandate insurance coverage. The legislation would require nearly all companies to provide health insurance for their employees or face large fines.

The Peoria-based company said these provisions would increase its insurance costs by at least 20 percent, or more than $100 million, just in the first year of the health-care overhaul program.

“We can ill-afford cost increases that place us at a disadvantage versus our global competitors,” said the letter signed by Gregory Folley, vice president and chief human resources officer of Caterpillar. “We are disappointed that efforts at reform have not addressed the cost concerns we’ve raised throughout the year.”

Business executives have long complained that the options offered for covering 32 million uninsured Americans would result in higher insurance costs for those employers that already provide coverage. Opponents have stepped up their attacks in recent days as the House moves closer toward a vote on the Senate version of the health-care legislation.

A letter Thursday to President Barack Obama and members of Congress signed by more than 130 economists predicted the legislation would discourage companies from hiring more workers and would cause reduced hours and wages for those already employed.

Caterpillar noted that the company supports efforts to increase the quality and the value of health care for patients as well as lower costs for employer-sponsored insurance coverage.

“Unfortunately, neither the current legislation in the House and Senate, nor the president’s proposal, meets these goals,” the letter said.

“He gave me a kiss on the left cheek,” Miss Kaptur said.”

Kaptur says she’s leaning toward backing health-care measure

Battle of Crécy

Related Links:

The Hill: Rep. Boccieri flips to support healthcare bill

The Plain Dealer: Reps. John Boccieri and Charlie Wilson announce they’ll back health care bill

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