I’m not getting worked up about this – unless Bart Stupak has lost control of his pro-life band of brothers, in which case they might do something stupid, as The Hill article below suggests some might.
Even if talks are indeed ongoing, affirmation should hinge on a promise (surely written) from a majority of Democrat senators – many of whom are virulent pro-aborts – to replace the current pseudo-pro-life Nelson Amendment with the original Nelson-Hatch Amendment (which was identical to the Stupak-Pitts Amendment) in the House-passed Senate version of Obamacare….
But the abortion lobby would never allow this. The Stupak Amendment got by them once. They won’t let it happen again… unless there is a double-cross promise to enact the pro-life amendment only to rescind it. But now I’m sounding too much like a spy novel.
At any rate, The Hill reported this morning:
Natural Resources Chairman Nick Rahall (D-WV) [pictured right], one of Rep. Bart Stupak’s (D-MI) gang of staunch opponents of the Senate abortion language, said they are in discussions with Senators and House leaders to secure such a commitment.
“There could be some kind of commitment from the other body to act on this later… to ensure that the Senate language does not remain law,” he said.
Rahall said that securing such an agreement could open up 6-to-10 members, including himself, to voting for the Senate bill and reconciliation language.
He told the Charleston Daily Mail he will vote no unless abortion language is changed.
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) [pictured left] on Thursday hinted that discussions along the lines Rahall mentioned were in the works….
Rahall said the remaining opponents were at this point looking for “some type of language we can rely on in the Senate” and a “promise [from the Senate] to act in the future.”
The Chairman would not say whether discussions between Stupak and Senate Democrats have risen to the leadership level, but he did say that he and Stupak are talking to House leaders, including Pelosi.
I don’t think this is anything new. Stupak concurred talks are ongoing in an interview with George Stephanopoulos this morning on Good Morning America. Stupak has always maintained a willingness to dialogue with his party leader, which he has to do to maintain credibility. Note in this piece Stupak maintains, as Dan Lipinski did the other day, he has 12 pro-life Dems in his pocket. If Stupak really has 12, it’s game over for passage of Obamacare in the House…
Stephanopoulos is a great Democrat lobbyist, don’t you agree? But Pelosi in the aforementioned article threw water on this. And I believe her. She took an incredible amount of grief for allowing the Stupak Amendment in the 1st place. What she says here is in keeping with what a source told me she had passed along at a recent Planned Parenthood meeting, that she would rather see healthcare fail than allow a return of the Stupak Amendment…
Pelosi, however, said she is unaware of any such idea. “I haven’t heard any of that,” she said at a press conference Friday, though she conceded, “There are members who may be talking.” Pelosi also indicated that, on abortion and other areas under dispute among Democrats, the legislation will undergo nothing more than “technical” adjustments before the planned vote on Sunday.
“There will be no further changes in the bill,” she said.
Pelosi reiterated her case that the underlying healthcare reform bill does not undermine existing law banning federal funding of abortions.
“This bill is about healthcare, not abortion,” she said.
Finally, from the same article, Stupak also threw water on this deal. Unless reps are working around him, it is unlikely to happen…
In a Wednesday interview with The Hill, however, Stupak said he was dubious of promises made by any Democrats.
“Right now, they got the trifecta: They got the House, they got the Senate and they got a president,” he said. “So basically, they said, ‘Your right-to-life amendments are over.’ And they’ve proven that.
“So one of the offers is, ‘Why won’t you just drop this for now? We’re going to work on it later. This thing doesn’t kick in till 2018,” Stupak continued. “Well, jeez, after you tell us no to our face – ‘You’re never going to get anything’ – why would I suddenly think you’re going to give me something now? I’m a little slow, but I’m not that slow.”