AP: Stupak “more optimistic” on ObamaCare deal

posted at 9:11 pm on March 8, 2010 by Allahpundit

Remember, the Stupak bloc voted for Pelosi’s bill in November so she wouldn’t be picking up any new votes if they made a deal this time. They’d be right around 216, still with no margin for error and plenty of fidgety Blue Dogs thinking hard about November.

But let’s face it. With the main pillar of opposition having crumbled and maybe one or two votes the difference between passage and defeat, it’d take more courage at that point to vote no than to vote yes. Gulp:

Rep. Bart Stupak said he expects to resume talks with House leaders this week in a quest for wording that would impose no new limits on abortion rights but also would not allow use of federal money for the procedure.

“I’m more optimistic than I was a week ago,” Stupak said in an interview between meetings with constituents in his northern Michigan district. He was hosting a town hall meeting Monday night at a local high school.

“The president says he doesn’t want to expand or restrict current law (on abortion). Neither do I,” Stupak said. “That’s never been our position. So is there some language that we can agree on that hits both points — we don’t restrict, we don’t expand abortion rights? I think we can get there.”

As far as I know, the only way they can fix the abortion language to Stupak’s liking would be via a separate third bill that would have to pass the House and Senate. (They can’t do it in reconciliation because abortion isn’t related to budgetary matters.) Ed is skeptical that Obama would go for that but I don’t see a problem: He’s already crapped away so much political capital on this, what’s a few ounces more? Besides, his base will be happy enough to have finally passed O-Care that they’ll tolerate a cave on abortion.

The real question is what sort of guarantee Reid and Pelosi can give to Stupak that they’ll actually take up an abortion bill later. Remember, the first thing that has to happen is the House passing Reid’s Senate bill. Everything after that is a wild card, which is why House Democrats are nervous about Reid or Obama stabbing them in the back by abandoning the reconciliation process once the Senate bill is passed. Stupak would have to worry about that plus being stabbed in the back on the promise of a separate abortion “fix.” And even if an abortion bill were introduced, they’d need 60 votes in the Senate to get it through.

If the GOP wanted to play hardball here, McConnell and Boehner could issue a statement saying that Republicans will not vote for any abortion fix later on but will instead vote “present” as a way of protesting the passage of ObamaCare. That would leave Stupak in a bind because, without Republican votes, there’s likely no way an abortion bill to his liking would pass the House or Senate. The risk is, if the GOP makes that move, then the pro-choice Democratic congressional majority could pass a law providing for abortions to be fully funded under ObamaCare, which would leave Republicans who voted “present” with some ‘splaining to do to pro-life groups. Exit question: What happens now?


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I’m more than disappointed that the bishops allowed this to come out of committee by this groups (man’s) unsupportable promise, and by so doing, allowed this Marxist monster to be birthed in America. They did this with hardly a mention or apparent concern about the Catholic principle of subsidiarity which is at the heart of the battle -should the highest (government control and decide for the lowest -on every element of their lives (freedom)or should the highest (government) be limited to what only it can do (defense etc) Our forefather’s understood the difference -it’s unfortunate that the Bishops who seemed to eagerly support ACORN with money meant for the poor and honored the most anti-life president in history at Notre Dame, failed to tend their sheep so transparently, while cavorting with the wolves.

Don L on March 9, 2010 at 10:29 AM

Obama simply needs to promise 10-15 federal jobs to wavering Congressmen and the bill is passed.

faraway on March 9, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Cause they don’t have them and I think this Massa thing might blow up bigger than it already has.

gophergirl on March 8, 2010 at 10:01 PM

No, morons will be busy chasing lame stories of mental pervs like Massa instead of actually accomplishing something. While you’re all busy with this fake drama…they’ll get this bill passed. ODS will do you in(just like it did the BDS crowd) and I can’t say that I care anymore.

fastestslug on March 9, 2010 at 10:50 AM

the only way they can fix the abortion language to Stupak’s liking would be via a separate third bill that would have to pass the House and Senate. (They can’t do it in reconciliation because abortion isn’t related to budgetary matters.) Ed is skeptical that Obama would go for that but I don’t see a problem

Of course it won’t be a problem for Obama – he’s probably counting on the Senate to bail on any promise he makes and then he will blame them.

katiejane on March 9, 2010 at 10:56 AM

Wonder what they did to flip him?

hawksruleva on March 9, 2010 at 11:09 AM

And this is news…?!? Since when do democrats start having any scruples or ethics and stand up for what is right? They do what’s good for the democrat party only – sure they’re good at putting on shows and pretending to be for the “little people”. But after 80+ years of them dominating our politics, it never changes. When will people learn?

mozalf on March 9, 2010 at 11:19 AM

Stupak and his group all voted ‘yes’ on the House bill last year. So, if they all vote ‘yes’ this time, there’s still a razor-thin margin we’re dealing with. Focus on the folks who are switching their vote from ‘yes’ to ‘no’. Those few votes, if they hold, will be enough to torpedo this bill. Also, there’s no guarantee that all 15 of Stupak’s crew will vote ‘yes’. Pelosi still doesn’t have the votes yet.

joejm65 on March 9, 2010 at 11:44 AM

And just HOW is that language going to get into the bill? The senate bill MUST be voted on AS IS. If anything is changed, or added it MUST go back to the senate for a new 60 VOTE!

So per an unidentified aide language is being “changed” to make Stupak happy and making small business cover part time employees, how is that getting added? The bill is done, and passed and cannot be changed!

patriotparty1 on March 9, 2010 at 12:23 PM

So, basically the health care debate boils down to, “Should whores get paid?”–”whores,” in this case, referring to congressmen like Bart Stupak, Ben Nelson, and Mary Landrieu.

Morally, of course, whores should get paid, because not paying them would be cheating them of the fruits of their labor. It would be stealing from them.

From a strictly cost/benefit point of view, not paying them, or even beating them, may serve as punishment for any number of pimp/whore infractions. But any pimp worth his bling knows if he doesn’t keep his whores producing, he loses in the long run.

So, the real question is can the pimp can expand his power (broaden his business base) by paying off his whores? The answer is assuredly “Yes he can within the means at his disposal.” He is better paying them off than risking the loss of business versus any immediate monetary gain, or worse yet–losing them to another pimp!

The followup question is, “What are the limits to the ‘means at his disposal?’”

Stepan on March 9, 2010 at 1:31 PM

We have nine days until the supposed vote.

I’m starting a Novena to St. Joseph, (nine consecutive days of prayer for a specific request of God) whose Feast day is March 18, the same day as the supposed “vote”.

It was St. Joseph who protected the Blessed Mother and the Infant Christ from Herod’s slaughter of the Innocents by taking the Child and His Mother out of Bethlehem, heeding the warning of an angel in a dream.

I am praying that St. Joseph will intercede with His Son for the protection of the innocents from the slaughter that B. Herod obama has planned for them. If anyone else would like to pray for the next nine days asking God to shatter this mad man’s plans completely, please start your novena tonight or tomorrow.

tigerlily on March 9, 2010 at 12:33 AM

–Why don’t you also pray for a cure for your very clear and severe mental illness?

Jimbo3 on March 9, 2010 at 5:55 PM

–Why don’t you also pray for a cure for your very clear and severe mental illness?

Jimbo3 on March 9, 2010 at 5:55 PM

What “very clear and severe mental illness” would that be? A prayer to save human life is severe mental illness?

Even Allahpundit, the resident atheist, isn’t as rude, vulgar and immature as your comment.

Wethal on March 9, 2010 at 6:28 PM

–Why don’t you also pray for a cure for your very clear and severe mental illness?

Jimbo3 on March 9, 2010 at 5:55 PM

The minute they class faith as ‘mental illness’ is the minute every person of faith in the United States should take up arms against their government.

Dark-Star on March 10, 2010 at 2:21 AM

Stupak = Stupid…

Senator Graham (R-SC) said something about the folks on the other side of the aisle playing “Who’s the dumbest Democrat?” raegrding Obamacare…

Right now, Stupak is in the lead…

Khun Joe on March 10, 2010 at 3:22 AM

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