The fight for the Stupak 11 continues:
The AP is reporting, (via Hot Air):
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.”
Horrifying. We do not want to “get there”.
This comes after Kathleen Sebelius said in a “This Week” interview on ABC, that if the abortion language in the Senate bill does not satisfy Stupak, “the conversation will continue”.
The question everyone is asking, is: Can These bluedog Dems trust Senate leadership to make the changes he seeks, when this whole process has been so characterized by deceit, and subterfuge?
Sebelius apparently couldn’t keep her stories straight on the Sunday talk shows, last weekend:
Sebelius applauded the Senate language before and talked about mandatory abortion fees, but now she claims there is no funding.Sebelius also appeared to contradict herself within the interview, saying at one point that abortion funding is a part of the government-run health care bill. …
Yet, when she spoke with ABC’s “This Week” program yesterday, she said “Yes, abortion services are provided” under the Senate health care bill.
She tried to qualify her answer by adding, “people will pay out of their own pockets, in both the Senate and the House, but they do it in slightly different ways.”
But in an interview on December 21 with Morra Aarons-Mele of the pro-abortion web site BlogHer, Sebelius praised the Senate language that funds abortions and talked about how everyone would be forced to pay for them.
“And I would say that the Senate language, which was negotiated by Senators Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray, who are very strong defenders of women’s health services and choices for women, take a big step forward from where the House left it with the Stupak amendment, and I think do a good job making sure there are choices for women, making sure there are going to be some plan options [that pay for abortions],” Sebelius said then.
How is Stupak supposed to know when these people are telling him the truth?
Allahpundit explains why trust is the operative word on this issue:
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.
Stupak gets an open letter of support from N.Y. state senator Ruben Diaz, the only pro-life Democrat in Albany’s upper chamber.
Michelle Malkin says Stupak must be held to these words, via CNS, 12/22/09:
“We’re getting a lot of pressure not to say anything, to try to compromise this principle or belief,” Stupak said. “[T]hat’s just not us. We’re not going to do that. Members who voted for the Stupak language in the House – especially the Democrats, 64 Democrats that voted for it – feel very strongly about it. It’s been part of who we are, part of our make up. It’s the principle belief that we have. We are not just going to abandon it in the name of health care.”
Stupak’s contact info:
2268 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225 4735
(202) 225 4744 – Fax