In a surprise move after hours of tumultuous negotiations, the House Rules Committee, very early Saturday morning, approved rules for debate on the pro-abortion health care bill. Although it appeared Speaker Nancy Pelosi would deny one, it allows a vote on an amendment to remove abortion funding.Don't be too sure. Stupak has said before that he just wants a vote on this, to assuage his malformed conscience, and will then vote for ObamaCare. But please, by all means, surprise us.
Pelosi's hand appeared to have been forced when pro-abortion House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced earlier in the day that she did not have enough votes to pass the bill because of objections from pro-life Democrats.
The committee okayed a Rule that allows the House to vote on the Stupak amendment, offered by pro-life Rep. Bart Stupak, a Michigan Democrat, to the health care reform legislation.
Stupak had dozens of Democrats who threatened to vote against the Rule and the bill if he did not get a vote on his amendment. If the amendment is defeated, Stupak and pro-life Democrats will likely still oppose the bill because of the abortion funding.
This AP story hints that merely allowing the vote on the amendment will be enough to placate those who kinda-sorta want to take a stand against taxpayer-funded abortion:
The leadership's hope is that no matter how that vote turns out, Democrats on both sides of the abortion divide will then unite to give the health care bill a majority over unanimous Republican opposition.
Obama will descend upon the Capitol this morning
to twist arms and offer bribes to "close the sale," or as Jim Geraghty puts it, 29 House Democrats Are About to Be Promised the World.
h/t: Ed Whelan on the Corner, who adds:
The [Stupak amendment] vote is expected to take place today. Information on how to contact your House member is available here.
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