Democrats Put Brakes on Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill, Pro-Life Group Wary

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 30, 2009   |   12:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Democrats Put Brakes on Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill, Pro-Life Group Wary

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 27
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — Leading Democrats said late Tuesday that they are all but putting the brakes on the pro-abortion health care bill because they can’t find the votes to move forward. But a top pro-life group urges the pro-life community to not become complacent because a revised bill could move ahead at any time.

In a press conference yesterday, Senate Leader Harry Reid appeared to admit defeat.

“We’re not on health care now,” Reid said. “We’ve talked a lot about it in the past.”

“There is no rush,” he added, saying that Congress has most of the rest of the year to work on a revised health care bill and that other political issues are pressing.

According to a New York Times report, he said he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are working on a plan on how to move forward.

"There are a number of options being discussed," he said, emphasizing that Democrats were working on the next "procedural aspects."

Meanwhile, House Majority Whip Clyburn said Tuesday afternoon that "We could get the votes in the House to pass the bill … if fixes to the Senate stuff can be done."

Pelosi herself said she agreed but it depends on the nature of the changes to the Senate bill, because the House doesn’t have the votes to pass it.

"At this time, in this form, there aren’t the votes in the House,not anywhere near, to pass the Senate bill. But again, some kind of package that we can put together might produce that result and we had a constructive meeting to that end," Pelosi said

Another top Democrat in the House also sought to lower expectations on a health care bill in advance of the State of the Union.

“Frankly, we’re trying to figure out what is possible,” said pro-abortion Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. “Senator Reid needs to determine what is possible on his side of the aisle — you know, what kind of support he can get. And we’re trying to figure out as well what we can pass.”

“I think by next week we need to come to focus on the way we want to move forward," he said, according to the Times.

The gist of the comments are that the health care bill is temporarily stalled, but National Right to Life legislative director Douglas Johnson says pro-life advocates should be careful to come to the conclusion that it is dead — because that’s not so.

"This is no time to relax: Each member of the House should be urged to oppose the Senate-passed health bill (H.R. 3590) because of the provisions that would result in abortion mandates and abortion subsidies," he said.

"It is especially important that House Democrats who voted for the Stupak-Pitts Amendment on November 7, 2009, hear from constituents in opposition to the Senate bill," he added.

Johnson said the "legislative situation may change rapidly" — thus, today’s stalling could turn into action next week if Democrats formulate a gameplan.

"The White House hopes to lull opponents of Obamacare into complacency," he added. "No one should be lulled, because on 24 hours notice, House Speaker Pelosi could and would bring the really awful Senate bill to a vote on the House floor, if she could just find the votes to pass it."

"Many powerful interest groups, including major labor unions, are continuing to demand action. So this is a time for those who oppose enactment of sweeping pro-abortion, pro-rationing legislation to redouble their efforts," he told

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