I know Bart Stupak and his band of merry uterus watchers are patting themselves on the back right now, but they really got nothing that wasn’t already in federal law. It’s fine if they want to believe they did. President Obama has made history, accomplishing what every president before him since Teddy Roosevelt has tried and failed. The Republicans are walking away looking like the whiny, corporate ass kissing obstructionists they are. All will be good…
House leaders announce impasse-breaking deal on abortion funding
President Obama, rallying last-minute support for landmark health-care legislation nearing a crucial vote in the House, announced Sunday that he will issue an executive order after passage attesting that the bill is consistent with longstanding restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortions.
The arrangement won the support of a key bloc of anti-abortion House Democrats, whose leader, Rep. Bart Stupak D-Mich.), said at a news conference, “I’m pleased to announce we have an agreement.”
Appearing with Stupak were half a dozen other holdout Democrats. With them on board, “we’re well past” the 216 votes needed in the House to approve the health-care legislation, Stupak said.
White House officials said they believe the addition of the anti-abortion Democrats to the “yes” column will provide House Democratic leaders considerable breathing room during the next several hours as they head toward critical votes. Before Stupak’s announcement, a top Obama adviser had said that without a deal, passage appeared possible but would have been extremely close. In the wake of the agreement, West Wing aides appeared relieved.
“While the legislation as written maintains current law, the executive order provides additional safeguards to ensure that the status quo is upheld and enforced, and that the health care legislation’s restrictions against the public funding of abortions cannot be circumvented,” White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said in a statement. “The president has said from the start that this health insurance reform should not be the forum to upset longstanding precedent. The health care legislation and this executive order are consistent with this principle.”
UPDATE: President Obama plans health care statement Sunday night. (That would be tonight.) Time to be determined.