Tuesday, November 10, 2009


It looks like the anti-abortion amendment that kept the Health Care Destruction bill moving in the House will be stripped out in conference.

The health bill approved by the House will likely see its abortion amendment stripped, the House's third-ranking Democrat stressed Tuesday.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said he believes that the amendment restricting federal funding for abortion will eventually be removed during conference with the Senate's bill.

"I think that's what's gonna happen," Clyburn said during an appearance on MSNBC when asked if Rep. Bart Stupak's (D-Md.) amendment would be removed.

Clyburn said that he and many other House Democrats supported the amendment to pass the legislation in the House, with the expectation that it would eventually be removed.

"That's certainly why I voted for it," Clyburn explained. "I agree that the language approved by the House is unacceptable. We were doing what was necessary to do to put the bill on the floor in about 12 hours."
Well. Well. Well. So that is how they are going to get the bill passed. It will be fixed in conference. A vote nominally in favor of abortion would have killed the bill. But we had so many Rs who coveted a 100% NRLC score that they allowed it to pass.

It is hard to tell how all this is going to play out. Will the abortion foes stick to their guns and keep the bill from passing after reconciliation?
Clyburn said that the amendment had been necessary to win only a handful of votes, not the 40-some Democratic vote Stupak had expected to rally against the bill unless it included the abortion amendment.

"It was only 10 or 11 votes; that's the fact," Clyburn asserted. "This language took us across the threshold of 218."

Echoing other Democratic leaders, including President Barack Obama, the third-ranking Democrat in the House said that the bill needs to preserve the status quo on federal funding for abortions, which Clyburn said was represented in the Hyde Amendment.

"As long as this does not go beyond the Hyde Amendment, I think we'll be fine," Clyburn said.
Yes. But 220 minus 10 is 210. Not enough for passage. Which is why they needed the amendment in the first place.

It will be interesting to see how the Republicans get outmaneuvered this time.