Another Chip Falls Off the Stupak Bloc
Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) told the local ABC affiliate in Toledo that she will be a Yes vote:
The interview is not yet online but I confirmed Kaptur’s quotes with WTGV investigative reporter Zack Ottenstein.
“Yes I will,” Kaptur said, when asked if she’d be supporting the Senate bill. Asked why, she continued:
“We received assurances last night that we will work with the administration and Secretary Sebelius and the President to ensure existing law is maintained.”
That’s a reference to HHC secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and appears to mean that the Stupak bloc was given these reassurances last night at the White House.
It’s unclear right now whether this means the White House agreed to an executive order reaffirming the ban on Federal funding on abortion, or whether White House aides made more general assurances.
There are conflicting reports at this hour that Bart Stupak himself may have committed to support the bill.
The New York Times has an interesting article on how Nancy Pelosi almost single-handedly pulled health care back from the edge of the cliff after Scott Brown’s electoral victory in Massachusetts:
… The White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, once Ms. Pelosi’s right hand man on Capitol Hill, was pushing Mr. Obama to scale back his ambitions and pursue a pared-down bill.Mr. Obama seemed open to the idea, though it was clearly not his first choice. Ms. Pelosi scoffed.
“Kiddie care,” she called the scaled-down plan, derisively, in private.
In a series of impassioned conversations, over the telephone and in the Oval Office, she conveyed her frustration to the president, according to four people familiar with the talks. If she and Harry Reid, the Senate Democratic leader, were going to stick out their necks for Mr. Obama’s top legislative priority, Ms. Pelosi wanted assurances that the president would too. At the White House, aides to Mr. Obama say, he also wanted assurances; he needed to hear that the leaders could pass his far-reaching plan.
“We’re in the majority,” Ms. Pelosi told the president. “We’ll never have a better majority in your presidency in numbers than we’ve got right now. We can make this work.”
Firedoglake’s David Dayen on the as-yet unconfirmed language of the Executive Order that may have secured Brad Stupak’s Yes vote (are there enough qualifiers in there?).