NYCEve met with Yvette Clarke and asked her directly if she’s vote against any bill that does not have a robust public option — no triggers, no co-ops, all the way through conference.  Her answer:  an emphatic yes. 

"There is no health care reform without a robust public option," she says.

Rep. Clarke is the whip of the Congressional Black Caucus.  Eve wanted to know if the other members of the caucus would join her in that commitment.  She said that initial polling of her colleagues indicate that they are "fairly on board" and that she’s getting "positive feedback."  She’ll know more as they return to Capital Hill this week, but says they were actually emboldened by the disruption of town halls in August by the teabaggers:

It looks as though people have watched the circus, the fiasco, the disgrace in many instances on the right,  and that has driven them even further to  examine how important this public option is to real health care reform.

The White House is already twisting the arms of weak-willed members to get them to abandon the commitments they made to vote against any bill that does not have a robust public option (successfully in the case of Sam Farr and Michael Capuano this morning).  So Eve asked what Rep. Clarke would say if President Obama called her and asked her to change her vote, as he did with many members during the supplemental battle:

I respect our President so much. And I know in his heart what he’s really trying to accomplish.  And I’d have to be honest with him and let him know that what he’s trying to accomplish cannot in my mind and in the mind of many of my constituents can not exist without a robust public option.

Call members of Congress and ask them to join Rep. Clarke take the pledge to vote against any bill that does not have a real public option — no co-ops, no triggers.  If 40 members agree to do that, no health care bill can pass the House without a public option.

And call Rep. Clarke to thank her for her courage and her leadership. And also for giving a big shout-out to FDL: (718) 287-1142, (202) 225-6231.