Obama, Democrats Regroup on Pro-Abortion Health Care After Scott Brown Win
by Steven Ertelt
January 20, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The reaction to the victory by Scott Brown in the Massachusetts special Senate election is a tale of contrasts. On one hand, pro-abortion President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are fleeing from the pro-abortion bill but, on the other, they are standing their ground saying they still want it.
Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Democrats will push ahead with the bill despite the clear message the Brown victory sent that Americans oppose a pro-abortion health care measure.
"We will move forward with those considerations in mind — but we will move forward," Pelosi said.
Obama warned Democrats in Congress today not to "jam" a health care reform bill through now that they’ve lost their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.
"Here’s one thing I know and I just want to make sure that this is off the table: The Senate certainly shouldn’t try to jam anything through until Scott Brown is seated," he said. "People in Massachusetts spoke. He’s got to be part of that process."
But other Democrats appeared to run away from the prospect of getting a bill approved.
Sen. Jim Webb, a Virginia Democrat, said the Senate shouldn’t hold any more votes on health care until after Brown is sworn in as the next senator.
"In many ways the campaign in Massachusetts became a referendum not only on health care reform but also on the openness and integrity of our government process," Webb said in a statement. "To that end, I believe it would only be fair and prudent that we suspend further votes on health care legislation until Senator-elect Brown is seated."
Republican Leader Mitch McConnell responded to that statement with support.
"What it means is there will be no health care votes in the Senate until Brown is sworn in, because they have no margin for error," McConnell said. "I think that means there will be no more health care votes in the Senate prior to the swearing in of Scott Brown, whenever that may be."
"I think the message of the moment is that the American people, all across the country, are asking us, even in the most liberal state, Massachusetts, to stop this healthcare bill," McConnell added.
With the Senate apparently out of play, focus squarely shifts to the House, which could still try to pass the pro-abortion health care bill the Senate approved.
"We are, at this point, we’ll be looking to see what the mood of the House is and what they want to do," said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, an abortion advocate from Michigan.
She told The Hill that further efforts to merge the House and Senate bills were fruitless.
"I think at this point, given the new senator from Massachusettss position, I think that would be tough to do," Stabenow said.
But early indications have been that the House is not interested in the Senate bill and, for pro-life advocates, pro-life Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak still has 10-12 members who will vote no because of abortion funding — and more may vote no because of the Massachusetts results.
Rep. Bill Delahunt, a pro-abortion Massachusetts congressman, told MSNBC this morning he will advise Democratic leaders to scrap the bill and look at passing it in smaller bites.
And Anthony Weiner, a New York Democrat, said his leadership is whistling past the graveyard if they think Browns win won’t force a rethinking of the health care plan.
While Scott Brown is no pro-life champion, as he supports the Roe v. Wade decision, his election may have been the death knell for the pro-abortion health care bill.
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