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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Will Liberals Cave On Stupak Language? Update- Stupak Deal Cancelled?

Via Memeorandum we see liberals are "livid" about last minute talks and reported agreements between Nancy Pelosi and Bart Stupak in order to obtain his vote and those that stand with him refusing to vote for Obamacare aka the Senate healthcare reform package and the separate reconciliation bill for the Senate to approve "fixes" to their original bill.

Pelosi spoke on the floor with Stupak for 10 minutes immediately before a group of pro-abortion rights Democrats angrily surrounded Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), and then headed into the Speaker’s office just off the House floor.

Stupak, meanwhile, has scheduled a press conference at 11 a.m. Saturday. "Hopefully, tomorrow, I'll have it for you and can give it to you," he said of the proposal.

Stupak has maintained that he has enough votes to kill the healthcare bill, and has threatened to do so unless his demands that his language be included in the eventual healthcare law are met.

Stupak’s threats were real enough in November to force Pelosi to add his language to the House bill at the last minute. That language, which Stupak has said is the only language that upholds the Hyde Amendment, won the votes of 68 Democrats as an amendment to the House bill.

The vote prompted an angry backlash from members of the Pro-Choice Caucus, who vowed to kill any future healthcare bill containing the Stupak language, which they say goes beyond current law and places more restrictions on abortion than already exist.

Leaders of the Pro-Choice Caucus, some 30 minutes after storming into Pelosi’s office, renewed that threat.

The Stupak block has been unmovable in their demands, even though he only claimed to hold 12 votes, while Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), a Pro-Choice Caucus co-chairwoman, claims to have between 40 and 55 votes to withhold should the Stupak deal go through.

Last November these pro-choice votes caved and voted for the bill despite the fact that the Stupak language banning and money from covering abortions was added at the last minute.

Will they cave again?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made a deal with Rep. Bart Stupak in order to secure his vote and that of other anti-choice Democrats for the health care bill, which is scheduled to be voted on this Sunday. According to a member of Congress who was briefed on the matter, Pelosi has agreed to let Stupak have a vote on his amendment, which instructs the Senate to substitute his language for the Senate language on abortion.

FDL has obtained a copy of the concurrent resolution (PDF1, PDF2, PDF3, PDF4), which includes cosponsors Marion Berry, Sanford Bishop, Joseph Cao, Kathy Dahlkemper, Steve Driehaus, Marcy Kaptur, Dan Lipinski, Alan Mollohan, and Nick Rahall. A second source confirms that with the exception of Cao, these are the members of Congress who are still on the fence. Cao is still considered a firm “no” vote.

Obviously Nancy Pelosi, if she did make such a deal with Stupak, thinks they will.

Reactions from the far left Democrats in the House, predictably, are opposed to any such deal between Pelosi and Stupak.


The deal calls for Stupak to have a vote on his amendment either before or after the House votes to confirm the Senate bill on Sunday. Stupak is confident that he has the votes to pass the measure, and is happy to have the vote after the House passes the Senate bill. He believes that by using a “tie bar” approach, his amendment would be “tied” to the health care bill — which would require just 51 votes in the Senate.

Pro-choice members of the House, however, are demanding that the vote on the Concurrent Resolution happen before the House confirms the Senate bill. If in fact it passes, they plan to vote against confirming the Senate bill. They want Rep. Diana Degette to release the names of the 41 cosigners to her letter who pledged to vote against any bill that restricts a woman’s right to choose, and they are angry that the White House has been whipping to push through the Stupak deal.

“It is outrageous that a Democratic Speaker, a Democratic Majority Leader and a Democratic President should support rolling back women’s reproductive rights,” says one member of the group.

NRO reports the Stupak deal fell through, so back to the beginning, does Nancy Pelosi have the votes with Stupak and his bloc?

Two pro-life GOP members close to Stupak tell NRO that any Stupak deals are off. They just spoke with him and they said he's finished with Pelosi. They rejected his enrollment corrections proposal.

Would she have been trying to wheel and deal with him in the first place if she did?

Was this all for show to give "absolution" to Stpuak and his gang?

Still updating here as news comes out, so stay tuned...

[Update] FireDoglake, which has been doing a pretty good job of counting the votes for and against, maintains that without the Stupak bloc, Pelosi would need to run the table of uncommitted votes to reach 216.

If you look at the numbers below, you understand why this is consequential. Teague puts the definite No votes at 210, with five leaners, four of them part of the Stupak bloc. There are only 8 undecideds left, and 208 Yes votes with leaners. So Pelosi would have to get all 8, including Stupak bloc member Kathy Dahlkemper, and hold Marcy Kaptur (who probably shouldn’t be a lean Yes). Failing that, she could try to flip Glenn Nye, or go to one of her committee chairs voting No (Ike Skelton, Collin Peterson) and ask them to walk the plank.

At the point of writing that, the writer obviously thought Pelosi had no choice but to give Stupak his vote, stating "But that’s a very tough road. And so Pelosi is talking to Bart Stupak. Because there doesn’t look to be another option for passage," ...since that deal appears to be off.... what next for Pelosi?

[Update] Related:

2 Dems hold out over abortion issues

As of late Friday night, President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were still scrambling to lock in 216 votes for their health-care bill, with a small group of Democrats -- whose support could be crucial -- holding out for stronger anti-abortion provisions.

Two Chicago Democrats, Rep. Dan Lipinski and Rep. Mike Quigley, are a microcosm of the dilemma for the Obama White House and Democratic House leaders as they head to a Sunday showdown vote.

The anti-abortion Lipinski won't vote for the measure as it stands. He told me stricter bans are needed to ensure no federal money is channeled to clinics providing abortions or to insurance plans offering abortions. While some Catholic groups have signed on to the Obama plan, the nation's bishops have not.

And in a surprise to Democratic vote-counters, Quigley, an abortion-rights supporter, said Friday night Obama can't count on his support if a deal is made with the anti-abortion bloc to get to 216. Moreover, Quigley wants to strip out anti-abortion language already in the legislation.

GOP: Dems are bluffing, don't have the votes

Cantor suggests that in combining those two categories -- the yeses who have become no plus the Stupak group -- there might be another 12 votes against the bill. "If we add 12 to 32, we get 44 -- which leaves Speaker Pelosi seven votes short," Cantor concludes. Of course, if there are less than 32 original no votes who remain no votes, the margin is tighter.

This might be why Pelosi has been working her party in a frenzied state over the last few days, she doesn't have the votes and has been backroom wheeling and dealing to try to get them before tomorrow.

More to come...