House Pro-Abortion Caucus Co-Chair: Kill Senate Health Care Bill, Start Over

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 23, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

House Pro-Abortion Caucus Co-Chair: Kill Senate Health Care Bill, Start Over

by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 23
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — In a shocking opinion column written today, the co-chair of the caucus of pro-abortion lawmakers in the House says the Senate should kill its health care bill and start over. Rep. Louise Slaughter is the co-chairwoman of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus and a powerful Democrat.

As the head of the House Rules Committee, she is one of the top Democrats in the House, but she doesn’t think her Senate colleagues have a good bill.

"The Senate health care bill is not worthy of the historic vote that the House took a month ago," Slaughter wrote in an opinion piece on CNN’s web page.

Slaughter admitted the House bill is far from perfect but said the Senate version of the government-run health care bill is so flawed that, even if passed this week, a conference committee will be unable to merge it with the House version.

"Supporters of the weak Senate bill say ‘just pass it — any bill is better than no bill,’ " Slaughter wrote. "I strongly disagree — a conference report is unlikely to sufficiently bridge the gap between these two very different bills."

"It’s time that we draw the line on this weak bill and ask the Senate to go back to the drawing board," she said. "The American people deserve at least that."

Slaughter cites the Senate’s elimination of the public option as one reason to oppose the bill.

"Although the art of legislating involves compromise, I believe the Senate went off the rails when it agreed with the Obama Administration to water down the reform bill and no longer include the public option," she writes.

Speculation in response to the opinion column centers on whether it represents Slaughter’s views alone or if she is telegraphing the position of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top House Democrats.

The opinion column is significant because Slaughter is part of one of three competing groups when it comes to abortion funding.

One group of pro-abortion House members wants to remove the Stupak amendment and believes the Senate language funding abortion is too weak. A second group of pro-abortion senators supports keeping the Senate language in the bill. And a third group is comprised of pro-life House Democrats who want the Stupak amendment kept in the final bill.

Because of that enormous divide, Obama administration officials told Politico today that the health care bill may be delayed well into February.

With pro-life advocates not having the votes to keep abortion funding out of the Senate health care bill, having abortion advocates call for its defeat is an ironic Christmas gift.

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