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Posted by on Mar 11, 2010 in Breaking News, Politics | 15 comments

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.

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  • elrod

    I’m not even sure this reading of Waxman is accurate. I sense that it’s all inside baseball, using the press to negotiate, etc.

    • troosvelt_1858

      I certainly agree that we have no idea what anyone really means.

      They pretend like it is a tough road so if they succeed they look triumphant if they fail then they’ve set up the possibility of failure.

      But I do think it’s a very tough road for them, and almost impossible in a week.

      But you never know

  • DLS

    They’re set on proceeding with reconciliation at this point. It’s up to the Dems to settle this among themselves.

    I’m interested in what they may try to do to get past procedural hurdles (other than the filibuster) now.

    We may be hearing more about the “Slaughter Solution” before this ends.

  • Matthew Michael Crown

    I come to this site, for moderates, to see if I can see some intelligence and morality.

    I find an article on the “Health” Care bill, and process they are trying to ram it thru, utteruly unconstitutional, as you would expect from Chicago mob-style politicians. And there is not one voice expressing injustice.

    Not to mention the support of funding of killing of the unborn child.

    I am truly disappointed.

    • Schadenfreude_lives

      You are not looking very hard then. I and many other posters here have consistently spoken out against what you are talking about.

      Now, if you are talking about front-page posters, yes, there are only two, maybe three, that are not left-leaning.

      • kathykattenburg

        Actually, there are more than three, including both right and center-right.

    • garyknowz1

      I find it amusing that you use the phraseology of a rabid Rovian right-winger, and then complain about the lack of moderation. Interesting to say the least.

      • kathykattenburg

        Gary, that was my reaction exactly.

    • Axel Edgren

      Yeah, no, there are no many narrative-regurgitating, panicky, hectoring or whiny wingnuts here.

      So take your projection issues with you – far away from here. You storm in here like the right-wing version of Michael Moore and try to have a cry over our lack of moderation. No one cares, no one likes it, no one is impressed.

    • kathykattenburg


      Maybe your perception of what is “moderate” is off. There have been many, many posts on both health care reform and abortion from the perspective of opposing (both those things). But the language you use to describe what’s going on with health care reform and the abortion issue is not moderate language. It’s very extreme, inflammatory language.

      I think you’ll find if you’re looking for true moderate political thought here, you will find it. But first you have to understand what “moderate” is and what it is not.

  • CStanley

    What I find odd is that they’re apparently now considering bundling the student loan takeover into the reconciliation bill.

    First of all, it’s not at all clear to me that this gets them any closer to 216, although I’ll admit I don’t know the leanings of the members who they need to win over.

    Second though, it seems that they’re going all in on the ‘big govt’ agenda, full speed ahead, despite the loud protests of large segments of the electorate. I can see them having painted themselves into a corner on HCR, so that they may feel that they might as well try to pass the thing despite its unpopularity, but throwing in another issue that will surely be seen as another federal power grab is just lunacy as far as I’m concerned.

    • kathykattenburg

      Student loan “takeover” is hardly an accurate way to describe it, Christine. The Bush administration handed over the extant student loan process — which was as Democrats want to change it now — to the private sector, and made it a bonanza for them because the loans are federally guaranteed (to the corporations). So if the borrower defaults on the loan, the government pays the cost. It’s much more accurately described as a corporate takeover which is now being undone. All this provision would do is return the administration of student loans to the government, where it was before. It would remove the corporate middleman that the Bush admin created.

      I don’t even understand why any conservative would object to this amendment, anyway. Returning the handling of student loans to the government would save a lot of money (I don’t know the exact amount, but I think millions). It’s certainly not a traditionally conservative position, to support increasing the tax burden, or to support the more expensive approach to a particular issue.

  • DLS

    “bundling the student loan takeover”

    This was something I had noticed, and,

    “they’re going all in on the ‘big govt’ agenda, full speed ahead”

    Lesson not learned! In particular, I was upset as any American would be at this mis-federalization. “What’s next, federalizing gas stations and supermarkets?”

    (Acually, the displacement of the private sector is as bad as the totalitarian flavor of having it federalized rather than our seeing state governenments get into the act. Do these people believe maybe we should be like the USSR, or Cuba, or North Korea, and “de-privatize” and make “public” as much of the economy as possible?)

    NOTE — Dodd is proceeding with his financial bill, without GOP final cooperation. Lesson not learned, indeed.

    Stay tuned for immigration “reform” and energy policy legislation, card, check and all the rest if the GOP “wall” is broken through, I guess.

  • DLS

    “Student loan “takeover” is hardly an accurate way to describe it, Christine.”

    Yes, it is, Kathy. That is a fact. The private sector is being shoved aside and student loans are being federalized. (What’s next, the end of bank credit cards, replaced with federal debit or credit cards — and maybe a federal bank, with the bank card combined someday with a federal ID? Call it a FreedomCard.)

    The takeover of student loans (did Gus Hall ever think of that, I wonder?) has a number of parties concerned, such as in Vermont. More here (below).

    “What other sinister garbage unrelated to health-care will desperate democrats cram into this clandestine scam”

    (I wonder if the Bank of North Dakota as well as many private banks are getting nervous these days. What is going to be in Chris Dodd’s finance “reform” bill?)

    Miller and Harkin — last year’s lessons not learned!

  • DLS

    “I don’t even understand why any conservative would object to this amendment, anyway.”

    It’s not just a government replacement of the private sector, it involes the _federal_ government, which normally should not be doing anything like this directly with individuals, in place of state and local governments (if you still honor or respect constitutional federalism, at least). It’s not just a takeover by government, it is a _federal_ takeover.

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