Nancy Pelosi: "Thank God" Senate Bill Funds Abortions, Says House Can Pass Bill

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 17, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Nancy Pelosi: "Thank God" Senate Bill Funds Abortions, Says House Can Pass Bill

by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 17
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — In yet another comment that will draw guffaws from pro-life advocates, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is thankful to God that the Senate bill include massive abortion funding. Pelosi also claims she has enough votes to pass a pro-abortion health care bill in the House, though that is disputed.

The Senate bill, unlike the House government-run health care measure, funds abortions though the public option and affordability credits.

In a press conference with reporters late Wednesday, Pelosi talked about the differences between the House and Senate bills, some of which she liked and some disliked. But she appealed to a higher power in complementing one aspect of the Senate measure.

The Senate bill "doesn’t have a public option, doesn’t expand Medicare for the (age) 55 to 64 group, and has abortion language that is completely different from the House — thank God."

Pelosi told reporters she believes the House can approve the Senate bill or a merged conference committee measure even without the Stupak amendment the House added on a large bipartisan vote to remove abortion funding.

"We’ll see now, won’t we," she said.

Pelosi then added, "Let me tell you why I’m confident this will happen: If we stipulate to three points — that we all want to pass health-care reform, and that we won’t have any federal funding for abortion, and third that this is abortion-neutral, that it is not an expansion or (limitation) of abortion rights — that is what everybody says they want, including the (Catholic) bishops and everybody else."

"Stupak goes beyond the three principles," she claimed.

Pelosi also said she thinks she can get enough votes from Democrats to pass the bill — "I never count on Republicans."

However, Rep. Bart Stupak, the Michigan congressman who sponsored the amendment to cut off abortion funding, says he thinks enough pro-life Democrats will vote against the bill if the amendment is removed to kill it.

"Like Santa, I’ve checked my list this week and we’re confident that there are a minimum of 10 to 12 votes for the bill that cannot vote for it if we don’t come to some kind of agreement," Stupak said, according to the New Orleans Times Picayune newspaper.

One of those is Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao of New Orleans, the only Republican to vote for the bill when the House backed it 220-215 in November.

He is pro-life and says if the abortion funding ban is removed he is a certain no vote.

"I won’t vote for it without it," he said, according to the newspaper.

With Stupak and Cao, the vote total is 218-217 and just one more lawmaker willing to oppose the bill without the abortion funding ban would defeat it.

Other House members may also vote against the Senate bill or a conference committee version for other reasons — including liberals who don’t like that the Senate bill is a watered down version of the House measure.

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