Democrats Give Up On Abortion Changes
According to reports Democrats have given up on trying to alter the abortion language in the pending health care reform bill. This means they will have to try and get the votes from pro life House members who either opposed the bill earlier or who supported it based on the Stupak amendment.
Just as a refresher, the House bill contained restrictive language on abortion funding while the Senate version did not and it is this version they will try to pass.
As I’ve said in other posts, I do have serious issues with the Stupak amendment so I’m not that upset at the loss of the Stupak language. However it will be a very tricky needle for the Democrats to thread, getting the needed 216 votes in the House given the closeness of the previous vote and the fact that at least a handful of House Democrats have said they would oppose the bill without a Stupak compromise.
At the same time they could pick up votes from some Democrats who didn’t like the public option, though I suspect those numbers are pretty small it could balance out the Stupak figures.
In any case it is going to be tough to meet current psuedo deadlines. President Obama is leaving for a 2 week trip in about a week and that has imposed a deadline of March 18th to pass the bill. I’m not sure they can make it before then so my guess is that we won’t see passage until next month.
James Clyburn (D-SC) just appeared on MSNBC and did not sound like it was going to happen in the next week, though of course you can never know what politicians really mean, sometimes they downplay expectations.