Barack Obama Meets With Key Democrats on Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 13, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Barack Obama Meets With Key Democrats on Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 13
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — President Barack Obama is meeting with key Democrats today to further the closed-door process of resolving the differences between the Senate and House versions of the government-run health care bill. The Senate measure includes massive abortion funding and other concerns while the House bill does not.

Today’s face-to-face meeting is intended to be an update on the process, which Reid aides tell media outlets is "humming along" out of sight of the media and the public.

A Reid advisor told Fox News that Democratic leaders are hammering out the final bill, which pro-life groups are closely watching to see if it requires taxpayers to fund abortions.

The latest timeline has Democrats sending the proposed bill to the Congressional Budget Office as soon as the end of the week or early next week.

Once CBO returns with the financial numbers and analysis on the bill, which is expected to take about 10 days, both the House and Senate will attempt to pass the legislation without any changes. The House will need a majority vote while the Senate will need 60 votes to overcome a filibuster.

That would have both chambers of Congress voting on the legislation during the last week of January and Democrats hope to get the bill approved before Obama delivers his State of the Union address in early February.

But pro-abortion Rep. Charlie Rangel of New York says that’s not going to happen.

Health care negotiators are facing “a serious problem," he said Tuesday night and he speculated that a bill would not be produced until February.

“We’ve got a problem on both sides of the Capitol. A serious problem,” the chairman of the influential Ways and Means committee said.

Rangel says the House is having problems getting a bill together that will get a majority.

“Normally you’re just dealing with the Senate and they talk about 60 votes and you listen to them and cave in, but this is entirely different,” he said. “I’m telling you that never has 218 been so important to me in the House.”

“There’s no agreement. No deal on anything. Nothing,” the lawmaker said about previous meetings and their success in merging the bills.

According to Fox News, a list of Democratic leaders attending the meeting does not include any pro-life lawmakers.

That is important because pro-life groups are counting on a handful of pro-life Democrats led by Rep. Bart Stupak to hold the line by voting against the health care bill in the House if Stupak’s abortion funding ban is not retained in the final product.

Meanwhile, at a meeting of the House Republican conference on Wednesday morning, House Republican Leader John Boehner told his colleagues he thinks the government-run health care bill can be defeated.

“The bottom line is, I believe we can beat this bill,” Boehner said, according to the New York Times. “The American people are with us.”

The only Republican to vote for the bill the first time around, Rep. Anh Cao of Louisiana, is pro-life and says he will not vote for a final bill that funds abortions.

That means Stupak and just one more pro-life Democrat could cause the demise of the bill if it funds abortions by flipping the 220-215 vote for the bill to a 218-217 vote against the bill.

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