Democrats Begin Defecting From Reconciliation Push for Pro-Abortion Health Care

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 26, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Democrats Begin Defecting From Reconciliation Push for Pro-Abortion Health Care

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 26
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — Senate Democrats are beginning to defect from the reconciliation idea Speaker Nancy Pelosi and pro-abortion party leaders are pushing to get the pro-abortion health care bill through Congress. Three Democrats have said they oppose the idea or would lean against it.

But, the question is will there be enough Democrats willing to oppose the idea, which allows railroading the health care bill through the Senate with a majority instead of 60 votes.

Senator Blanche Lincoln, a pro-abortion Arkansas Democrat, said today that she opposes the reconciliation idea.

“I am opposed to and will fight against any attempts to push through changes to the Senate health insurance reform legislation by using budget reconciliation tactics that would allow the Senate to pass a package of changes to our original bill with 51 votes," she said, according to the New York Times.

“I have successfully fought for transparency throughout Senate deliberations on health care, and I will continue to do so. I will not accept any last-minute efforts to force changes to health insurance reform issues through budget reconciliation," she added.

Meanwhile, pro-abortion Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana also indicated he would oppose reconciliation.

“It would destroy the opportunity, if there is one, for any bipartisan cooperation the rest of this year on anything else,” Bayh said.

The Times noted he "would counsel against using reconciliation."

Also Sunday, Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska said he’d oppose reconciliation, with the Omaha World-Herald reporting, "he would vote against using a tactic called reconciliation to push through a health care bill." He also said he would vote against a bill if it includes money for abortions.

Philip Klein of the American Spectator writes that losing the three Democrats doesn’t doom the chances for Democrats to push the pro-abortion health care bill through via reconciliation.

"Democrats could technically afford to lose Lincoln, Bayh, Nelson and 6 more Senators and still theoretically pass a bill through reconciliation, because they only need 50 votes plus Joe Biden as the tie-breaker," he writes.

"But the more moderates defect from the party line and portray reconciliation as an ugly process that should be avoided, the more difficult it will be for Democratic leadership to counter Republican attacks on its use," he concludes.

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