House Dem: Conference committee will strip Stupak amendment

posted at 1:36 pm on November 9, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

With the opposition to ObamaCare wondering whether Republicans should have voted “present” on the Stupak amendment rather than let it pass, The Hill reports that Democrats expect the amendment to get stripped in committee anyway.  Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) says that a conference committee will remove the addendum that has so many Democrats unhappy with the House version of health-care reform — and that provided enough screen for Blue Dogs to jump on the bandwagon at the last minute:

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the Democrats’ chief deputy whip in the House, said that she and other pro-choice lawmakers would work to strip the amendment included in the House health bill that bars federal funding from going to subsidize abortions.

“I am confident that when it comes back from the conference committee that that language won’t be there,” Wasserman Schultz said during an appearance on MSNBC. “And I think we’re all going to be working very hard, particularly the pro-choice members, to make sure that’s the case.”

This comes as no big surprise, but it does highlight the question of whether Republicans should have supported the Stupak amendment in the first place. John McCormack sets up the question, and then answers it:

Although at least a handful of Republicans entertained the idea of voting present, Shadegg was the only one to do so. The GOP leadership released a statement that seemed to respond to those who wanted to bring down the amendment. “To be clear, the Stupak-Pitts Amendment’s passage is the right thing to do,” Representatives Boehner, Cantor, and Pence said in a statement. “We believe you just don’t play politics with life.”

There are many problems with the Shadegg/Americans for Prosperity gambit, but the most important one is that it simply wouldn’t have worked. The bill would have passed anyway. In fact, in the long-run, defeating Stupak would have hurt chances of defeating Obamacare.

Even Stupak didn’t claim he would vote against the Pelosi bill if he lost the vote on the amendment.  He threatened to bring a coalition of 40 Democrats to defeat the bill if he didn’t get a vote on the amendment.  He told his own constituents two weeks ago that he would likely vote for ObamaCare even with abortion subsidies, as long as he got a chance at an up-or-down vote.

Had the Republicans voted “present” and defeated the amendment, Stupak and his coalition would have provided enough votes to pass the bill — with the abortion subsidies.  The GOP managed to force the Democrats to abandon the abortion industry in its vote, which is why Wasserman-Schultz is now demanding that a conference committee strip the provision from the bill.  As Greg Sargent reports, she’s not alone, either:

In a move that will intensify the coming war over how to treat abortion in the health care bill, more than three dozen House Dems have signed a letter to Nancy Pelosi firmly pledging to vote against the bill if it contains an anti-abortion amendment.

A source sends over a working copy of the letter without the signatories, and a source says it currently bears the signatures of 41 House Dems. They’re all vowing to vote No on a bill if it contains the Stupak amendment — enough to sink the bill …

That’s unequivocal, with no wiggle room. The Washington Post reported this morning that Rep. Diana DeGette had collected 40 signatures vowing a No vote, without noting the language of their vow or how this would be communicated.

That sets up a big confrontation, and holds the Stupak coalition’s feet to the fire on an eventual conference report vote.  Stupak won’t get a chance to offer an amendment to add the language back into the bill; conference reports get straight up-or-down votes.  Either the pro-life Democrats have to vote for federal subsidies for abortions, which will mean an end to their legislative careers, or vote against the ObamaCare product and force Democrats to start over from scratch.

Republicans can make that argument only because they supported the Stupak amendment, even against what appeared to be their longer-term interests at that moment.  They acted on principle and can now argue that the Stupak coalition must respond in kind or be exposed as the worst kind of hypocrites in election challenges next year — challenges which that Stupak town-hall meeting shows will resonate.  Had they tried playing the legislative game with the Stupak amendment, this rift among Democrats shown by Sargent would never have appeared, and they would have lost the ability to highlight a backroom effort to rid the bill of an amendment that received more votes than the bill itself.

Voting to approve the Stupak amendment was a moment where strategy and principle converged.  It was not only a good tactic, it was the right thing to do.


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Is this even a GOP issue? Seems to me that this is a Dem problem.

AnninCA on November 9, 2009 at 2:31 PM

MrScribbler on November 9, 2009 at 1:51 PM

I hear you.

The Democrats have openly stated they are waging war with us. Yet our side is not getting the message.

When the head of Homeland Security is more concerned about conservatives than radical Islam…that was a message. When they would rather sit with the head of Iran than the head of the Republican party, that was a message too. They do not fear us because they believe we will not do anything…and I fear they are right.

Billions stolen with no accountability? No outrage. Unemployment at 10.2% with no one to blame? No outrage. Ramming a bill down the throats of representatives who are not representing their people then clapping about it afterwards as if its a big party? No outrage.

These are just a few examples, I am sure many can add even more.

We are too concerned about how they get away with all their hypocrisy( while they indeed get away with it) while our side gets nailed to the cross on just about anything that even remotely seems hypocritical…damn any consistency, they will win by any means necessary….we will lose because we have not figured out that we are at war whether we like to be or not, our casualties are mounting and our enemy is within.

Time is running out.

javamartini on November 9, 2009 at 2:32 PM

Either the pro-life Democrats have to vote for federal subsidies for abortions, which will mean an end to their legislative careers, or vote against the ObamaCare product and force Democrats to start over from scratch.

Political suicide or political suicide.

I like the options.

On the other hand, isn’t there like $500 billion of unspent stimulus money out there somewhere. That’s a lot of pork they can feed to the piggies.

fogw on November 9, 2009 at 2:36 PM

It will be really hard to the Stupak Demos to go home and say ‘Hey I voted for it before my leadership voted against it’. But then most of them are probably looking for jobs after the next election cycle anyway.

TexasDave on November 9, 2009 at 2:37 PM

Thanks for that head’s-up, Deb. Without the Stupak amendment, it won’t pass again.Oink on November 9, 2009 at 1:49 PM

As Ed points out so well, the beauty of this is that (while at the same time doing the right thing) this creates a circumstance where the two opposing factions ensure that both of the following will be true post-conference-committee:

1. Without the Stupak amendment, it won’t pass again.
2. With the Stupak amendment, it won’t pass again.

That sounds like an ideal dilemma to create.

VekTor on November 9, 2009 at 2:41 PM

Something tells me they have two opportunities to strip pro-life concerns from the bill. If the conference committee keeps it in then that “Health Board” will mandate it be in all insurance policies. (Assumption being that the senate passes some form of health care)

chemman on November 9, 2009 at 2:42 PM

Question of the day – How come we all knew they were going to do this -they said they were going to do this – it is the type of dishonest, disgusting thing they do.
And yet, and yet, the Republicans vote for the amendment anyway. Cause their need to feel good about themselves is greater than their need to make the rest of us feeling good about our country.

marnes on November 9, 2009 at 2:52 PM

It’s a shame we can’t make abortion retroactive in Debbie’s case…

Corky on November 9, 2009 at 2:53 PM

Quoth Debbie Wasserman Schultz,

And I think we’re all going to be working very hard, particularly the pro-choice members, to make sure that’s [stripping Stupak] the case.

As they used to say, “You do that little thing, hon.” And I hope you are super diligent in your effort, too.

Because as VekTor on November 9, 2009 at 2:41 PM so astutely pointed out, it assures the following:

1. Without the Stupak amendment, it won’t pass again.
2. With the Stupak amendment, it won’t pass again.

You Dems are Stupak-fyingly stupik. Pass the popcorn.

smellthecoffee on November 9, 2009 at 2:54 PM

Now its the GOP Senate’s turn to find a way to bail out the socialists; the House GOP brain trust has done its part. I think its time to send McCain, Graham and the Maine twins on a long fact finding mission to Africa or Antarctica.

james23 on November 9, 2009 at 2:56 PM

Democrat priorities:

Killing babies

Stealing money from working people

Killing seniors because most have no money to steal

darwin on November 9, 2009 at 2:56 PM

This woman is seriously ugly on the inside and out. As posted earlier, she is strictly pro-abortion as in abortion should be the ONLY choice avaialble and made. It is sickening that some people actually think that women are being persecuted because they may have to use their own money to pay for an abortion. Thousands and thousands are still performed each year, and that is still not enough for this C.H.U.D and her ilk.

Spectreman on November 9, 2009 at 2:59 PM

The idea that the absence of abortion funding makes PelosiCare unacceptable to Democrats is laughable. Once the socialist program is in place, the abortion funding will be mandated by the Courts or by some random bureaucrat.

GOP support for Stupak was a critical tactical blunder.

james23 on November 9, 2009 at 3:02 PM

Ultimately, the biggest loser on the Stupak Amendment is the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. The bishops who usually stay quiet due to tax code restrictions on non-profits, endorsed this product when the Stupak Amendment was added.

The bishops have an almost irrational concern over the treatment of (illegal) immigrants, which is why they were willing to endorse once the abortion funding was removed.

Most Catholics will be hearing about the endorsement over the next few weeks. Does anybody really think that the bishops connection with the Catholic community is so tight that they can do a quick about-face when the abortion funding is put back in ? I don’t.

The bishops will look stupid in the end
, especially if this thing passes, as many Catholics will think that the Church has changed their position on abortion, a victim of a political “bait-n-switch.”

J_Crater on November 9, 2009 at 3:04 PM

Democrat priorities:

Killing babies

Stealing money from working people

Killing seniors because most have no money to steal

darwin on November 9, 2009 at 2:56 PM

Of course, it’s all about control.

BuckeyeSam on November 9, 2009 at 3:12 PM

Rep. Wasserman Schultz, the first Jewish Congresswoman ever elected from Florida

As a Jew, I believe I have a duty, nay, a right, to tell this so-called “Jewish” woman, that the Torah, the Hebrew Scriptures, of which she claims to know (since she calls herself a Jew) absolutely forbides the taking of life in the womb. But of course, she went to college, and has been brainwashed to think that men and women are equal, and that values that protect life are silly. She is so wise and intelligent, this so-called “Jewish” congresswoman. She is a disgrace to our tribe. If Judaism allowed excommunication, she would deserve nothing less.

Andy in Agoura Hills on November 9, 2009 at 3:12 PM

The idea that the absence of abortion funding makes PelosiCare unacceptable to Democrats is laughable. Once the socialist program is in place, the abortion funding will be mandated by the Courts or by some random bureaucrat.

GOP support for Stupak was a critical tactical blunder.

james23 on November 9, 2009 at 3:02 PM

By the argument you present in your first sentence, the bill would have passed regardless of whether Stupak passed, because Dems don’t care whether abortion funding is in the bill or not.

Therefore it couldn’t have been a blunder for the GOP to have supported Stupak.

Missy on November 9, 2009 at 3:13 PM

Wasserman Schultz is the future of the Dem party..

d1carter on November 9, 2009 at 3:14 PM

Doesn’t Stupak’s amendment passing guarantee that Pelosi’s bill can’t be pushed through via reconciliation by Dingy Harry?

My understanding: if Dingy goes via reconciliation he has to take the bill as it is and there is no conference? Wouldn’t the lack of a conference, to take out the Stupak amendment, mean pro-aborts would have to either vote down this bill via reconciliation or get the 60 for cloture and a conference?

I don’t know. I am asking if anyone knows. Has this been discussed and I’m late to the party?

Branch Rickey on November 9, 2009 at 3:14 PM

Said it before, I’ll say it again.
I dare you. The senate will do whatever and the conference committee will do their usual whitewash/coverup/totally create new legislation. It doesn’t matter anymore. Y’all are going to think I’m late to the party, but here’s your concise instructions for eleven months.
 
1. Stay awake!
2. VOTE!
 
Is that simple enough? We must watch congress critters CONSTANTLY. We can’t believe anything in the lame stream media.

Blacksmith8 on November 9, 2009 at 3:15 PM

Andy in Agoura Hills on November 9, 2009 at 3:12 PM

You get the Jewish pro-aborts; I’ll take the Catholics. We’ve got lots of work.

Who wants the protestant pro-aborts? The Atheists? We can start a club.

:)

Branch Rickey on November 9, 2009 at 3:17 PM

Weasels…

1. Register to vote.
2. Get 10 of your friends to register. Same same for them.
3. Vote in 2010.

That is the only way to get their attention; send them home after the primaries…

Khun Joe on November 9, 2009 at 3:17 PM

The GOP members who voted for it thought it said the STUPID amendment.

profitsbeard on November 9, 2009 at 3:18 PM

AUINSC did you read Ed’s post or just the headline and jump to comment about how stupid the GOP was to vote for Stupak?

If you read the post, you saw Ed explain why voting for Stupak was both the right and strategic thing to do. Voting present would have done nothing except anger the GOP’s pro-life base. The bill still probably would have passed and it would have been one that allowed for federal funding of abortion.

Right now the big rift is among the Democrats. The vote for Stupak kept it that way. They have to try to appease both the Blue Dogs and the far left. It won’t happen and the conference bill will crash and burn no matter what comes out because of the two factions.

As Ed wrote, sometimes principle and strategy meet. This was one of those times.

wardrobedoor on November 9, 2009 at 1:48 PM

I agree. Good post.

Vote principle and don’t look back.

Sapwolf on November 9, 2009 at 3:19 PM

Democrat priorities:

Killing babies

Stealing money from working people

Killing seniors because most have no money to steal

darwin on November 9, 2009 at 2:56 PM

Perfectly said. And unfortunately very true.

Shambhala on November 9, 2009 at 3:22 PM

You get the Jewish pro-aborts; I’ll take the Catholics. We’ve got lots of work.

Who wants the protestant pro-aborts? The Atheists? We can start a club.

:)

Branch Rickey on November 9, 2009 at 3:17 PM

I actually do not personally know of any pro-murder Jews. I do know 1 pro-murder Christian. But she is waaaaay too far to the left.

Andy in Agoura Hills on November 9, 2009 at 3:22 PM

It’s a shame her mother chose life!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on November 9, 2009 at 3:23 PM

I actually do not personally know of any pro-murder Jews.
Andy in Agoura Hills on November 9, 2009 at 3:22 PM

I’ll introduce you to my in-laws sometimes.

Just another reason for them to think I’m “weird.” Y’know I’m against killing babies and all….

Branch Rickey on November 9, 2009 at 3:25 PM

Andy in Agoura Hills on November 9, 2009 at 3:12 PM

She is a JINO…and a disgrace.

Oh Mercy on November 9, 2009 at 3:42 PM

Republicans can make that argument only because they supported the Stupak amendment, even against what appeared to be their longer-term interests at that moment. They acted on principle and can now argue that the Stupak coalition must respond in kind or be exposed as the worst kind of hypocrites in election challenges next year — challenges which that Stupak town-hall meeting shows will resonate. Had they tried playing the legislative game with the Stupak amendment, this rift among Democrats shown by Sargent would never have appeared, and they would have lost the ability to highlight a backroom effort to rid the bill of an amendment that received more votes than the bill itself.

Voting to approve the Stupak amendment was a moment where strategy and principle converged. It was not only a good tactic, it was the right thing to do.

Ed, I think you are right. The Republicans did not have the votes to stop the bill..the only thing they could really do was back the blue dogs in a corner. In the end, the final vote {if there is one} will require that those blue dogs either vote for money for abortions or vote no to the bill.

Terrye on November 9, 2009 at 3:44 PM

Hey! Robert Plant! Shut up and sing! Oh…that isn’t Plant?

pugwriter on November 9, 2009 at 3:53 PM

pugwriter on November 9, 2009 at 3:53 PM

I thought it was Michael Bolton.

fiatboomer on November 9, 2009 at 3:58 PM

There is no such thing as a pro-choice Christian or Jew. They may say they are,, but God knows they’re the lowest form of life. There’s a special place in hell for those that abuse or butcher children.

Jeff from WI on November 9, 2009 at 4:02 PM

The bishops will look stupid in the end, especially if this thing passes, as many Catholics will think that the Church has changed their position on abortion, a victim of a political “bait-n-switch.”

J_Crater on November 9, 2009 at 3:04 PM

The catholic church having convenient morality is nothing new.

TTheoLogan on November 9, 2009 at 4:11 PM

There is no such thing as a pro-choice Christian or Jew. They may say they are,, but God knows they’re the lowest form of life. There’s a special place in hell for those that abuse or butcher children.

Jeff from WI on November 9, 2009 at 4:02 PM

“For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” -Jesus the Christ

jimmy2shoes on November 9, 2009 at 4:27 PM

Am I the only one who finds Wasserman Schultz terrifying? There is something very very wrong with this woman. No, it’s not just the fact that she’ll lie right to an interviewers face, be correct with facts, and then just deny them with comments like “well no, that’s not true”. Yes, that is incredibly annoying, but that’s not it. It’s also not the fact the she constantly resorts to some stupid “come down and talk to the seniors in my district” crap. (BTW, did she do that here? I find her to creepy to watch her any more, so I didn’t watch the clip)

It’s partly her voice, and it’s partly her appearance. Did she used to be a man? I’m seriously asking, because something is very very wrong. I’d be less than shocked if we found out she was a serial killer who stole the identity of a woman he killed.

RightWinged on November 9, 2009 at 4:28 PM

There’s a special place in hell for those that abuse or butcher children.

Jeff from WI on November 9, 2009 at 4:02 PM

The first stop on that journey is in San Francisco, where it’s standing room only.

BobMbx on November 9, 2009 at 4:31 PM

This is exactly why it was a good idea, strategically, for House GOPers to support the amendment. (Besides it being the right thing to do.)

I for one am fine with Pelosi’s House passing both cap’n trade and health care deform. What lunatics! With the Senate (barely) holding the line on these awful bills, it means the House Dems get all the flak for supporting the efforts with none of the credit for enacting them.

What a civil war it will be when Dems fight over federally-funded abortion. It’s such a must-have for the uber-Lefties, but political death to most Congressmen. Sit back and enjoy, y’all, the self-infliction of wounds is not over yet…

cackcon on November 9, 2009 at 4:32 PM

It’s partly her voice, and it’s partly her appearance. Did she used to be a man? I’m seriously asking, because something is very very wrong. I’d be less than shocked if we found out she was a serial killer who stole the identity of a woman he killed.

RightWinged on November 9, 2009 at 4:28 PM

Actually, she’s a breast cancer survivor (double mastectomy). Attack her politics and opinions, but cut her some slack outside of that.

BobMbx on November 9, 2009 at 4:33 PM

The Stupak amendment stays in.
ObamaCare is passed with abortion restrictions.
A bill repealing the Stupak amendment will be tacked on to the next military appropriations bill. Pubbies have to vote for it or risk looking like they don’t support the military. Same thing they did with a hate crimes bill, I think.

Bobbertsan on November 9, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Bashing white males isn’t racist?

On this date betwee 12:30 and 12:45 Eastern, (lunchtime for us peons) and analyst on MSNBC tossed a fit because ” a white male is making decisions for women’s..” referring to this issue.

A simple question is what does white have to do with it? Does it just fit their demonizing narrative? My friend, maybe my best friend is, well, a Carl Lewis look alike and he hates abortion while I just resist most all government spending and the toxic nature of programs like this one.

I have to ask. What would be said if Glen Beck had even rhetorically said: Oh, fine, another black female making decisions about our economy and white male’s property…what do you think that she is going to do?

IlikedAUH2O on November 9, 2009 at 5:07 PM

There’s a special place in hell for those that abuse or butcher children.

Jeff from WI on November 9, 2009 at 4:02 PM

The first stop on that journey is in San Francisco, where it’s standing room only.

BobMbx on November 9, 2009 at 4:31 PM

You mean New Sodom?

Jeff from WI on November 9, 2009 at 5:13 PM

I officially stand corrected.

They’re screwed now.

Ryan Gandy on November 9, 2009 at 5:15 PM

Don’t worry Debbie, “You rape ‘em we scrape ‘em” will be around, unfortunately.

Jeff from WI on November 9, 2009 at 5:54 PM

I am a pro-lifer but this arguing over 1 issue in a bill that has death all thru it and not to mention taxing future generations is is going to hurt more than help.

KILL THE WHOLE,PUTRID BILL,PERIOD.

ohiobabe on November 9, 2009 at 6:59 PM

If Congress passes ANY bill it goes on to Cass Sunstein to write the “regulations” – Cass Sunstein, a guy who says that nine out of every ten people on earth should be exterminated.

The whole idea of sending ANYTHING for him to mess with is like handing world government over to the Third Reich.

We have got to make it clear to Congress that we know that what is actually passed has no bearing on what actually happens in this nation, and we don’t trust people who have said outright that they believe it may be the government’s moral duty to exterminate 9 out of 10 people alive today, as well as sneak sterilizing drugs into the water. If it wasn’t our own government doing it, we’d call that chemical warfare.

I’m tired of my government waging war against my country and its Constitution. We need to let Congress see that they are looking more and more like enemy combatants every day.

justincase on November 9, 2009 at 8:20 PM

Bob Mbx at 4:33PM

I wonder if she’s aware that abortions – especially done on young teens in the first trimester of their first pregnancy – is a greater risk factor for breast cancer than family history of breast cancer, the one criteria doctors use to decide whether a woman should have a mammogram sooner than at 40 years old.

There was a pro-choice researcher whose sister had breast cancer. She found a high correlation between abortion and breast cancer and suddenly the whole medical community was against her. A study in Australia actually found that abortion was the number one predictor of whether a woman would get breast cancer – far outweighing the next-strongest predictor, family history. THEY EXPUNGED THAT RESULT FROM THEIR CONCLUSIONS BECAUSE IT WAS NOT POLITICALLY CORRECT.

This is why we should NEVER have government – run by political hacks – messing with legitimate scientific inquiry OR our health care.

If I’m paying your doctor bills I get to decide what medicine you can have. Abortion is bad medicine, period. If government is going to tell people they can’t drink soda-pop, smoke cigarettes, or get too flabby, then we had better darn well be telling them they can’t be putting their breasts into cancer mode by forcing their cervix open (potentially destroying its competence) and scraping a living, fighting child out of their womb.

The people who want to come between us and our doctors need to know that the knife cuts both ways. If my body is not my choice when I want to have hip replacement, then your body is not your choice when you want to suck a living baby limb from limb out of your womb.

justincase on November 9, 2009 at 8:30 PM

That woman is number 1 on my VOTE THE PUNK OUT list!!
She better double up that Nike knee pad stock, cuz that politician is going down!

christene on November 9, 2009 at 9:08 PM

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