Sunday, March 21, 2010

Stupak reaches abortion agreement with White House

Politico is reporting that an agreement has been reached between the President and Rep. Bart Stupak on the treatment of abortion in the Senate health care bill:
The White House and anti-abortion Democrats have reached an agreement to defusethe controversy over abortion in the health reform bill – planning a series of steps that will secure the support of Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and other Democrats to give party leaders the votes they need to pass reform, sources tell POLITICO.

Under the agreement, President Barack Obama would sign an executive order ensuring that no federal funding will go to pay for abortion under the health reform plans. In addition, Stupak will get to state his concerns about abortion funding in the bill during a colloquy on the House floor during the debate.

And then, Stupak and several other Democratic hold-outs over abortion will sign on to the bill, the sources said. The agreement would almost certainly give House Speaker Nancy Pelosi the 216 votes she needs to secure an historic health reform vote by day’s end – capping a year-long drive to achieve Obama’s signature legislative goal.
A colloquy?  Stupak has consistently stated that he would not vote for the health care bill unless it had strong language prohibiting the federal funding of abortion.  An executive order is not permanent law.  It appears that Stupak has sold his convictions and his vote for his 15 minutes of fame.

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