Top Democrat Confirms Reconciliation on Table to Push Pro-Abortion Health Care
by Steven Ertelt
February 12, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A top Senate Democrat confirmed today that Democrats are going to push ahead with the plan to use the controversial reconciliation process to push through the pro-abortion health care bill. At minimum, they are using the idea as a means of trying to land some Republican support.
Reconciliation is a budget process the Senate can use to pass financial items on a majority vote by denying a filibuster.
With the House not supporting the pro-abortion Senate health care bill without major changes and a filibuster stopping the House bill in the Senate, the idea is to get the House to approve the Senate bill and another bill with changes while the Senate approves the bill with the changes on a majority vote.
Now, pro-abortion Sen. Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat, is confirming the reconciliation plan is on the table.
"I think a decision has just been made — we’re just going to go ahead," he told reporters.
Fox News indicates a top Democratic aide indicated the final decision on whether to use the reconciliation process will come after the February 25 health care summit — where they plan to hold the idea over the heads of Republicans as a way to force them to support the bill.
Harkin also pitched the ideas as a negotiating tool.
"This is what we’ve got. What do you have?" Harkin said.
Sen. Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, says there is not going to be any deal on the health care bill at the summit short of starting over on the legislation.
"I think it’s going to take quite a bit to restart (the health care reform effort)," he said. "The public has studied this legislation. They don’t like it. And I think it’s a case of starting over, and will the president be willing to start over."
Meanwhile, pro-life organizations are urging pro-life Americans to re-engage in the debate over health care and abortion funding.
Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life, told LifeNews.com that pro-life advocates need to pay attention to this reconciliation strategy to pass the pro-abortion bill.
"For months, Speaker Pelosi, Senator Reid, and President Obama held secret meetings in an attempt to pass government-run health care that funded abortion. Then, after losing a Senate seat in Massachusetts and their filibuster-proof majority along with it, the Democrats publicly stated that they would work with Republicans on health care, but we have just learned their true intentions," she said.
"President Obama publicly called for a bi-partisan approach, even asking Republicans for an open televised session. But the truth has been exposed through news articles reporting that Speaker Pelosi’s top health care aide is telling insiders their real plan to get taxpayer-funded abortions," she said.
"Once again we see that the will of the American people doesn’t matter, and the pro-abortion Congressional leadership will stop at nothing to force pro-life Americans to fund abortion with our tax dollars! We must keep up the pressure and make sure that they are stopped," Yoest continued.
The AUL leader points out how Planned Parenthood has said "we’ve never had a better chance" for a government takeover of health care and the funds for the largest expansion of abortion in America since Roe v. Wade.
"The stakes for protecting innocent life could not be higher and, as this news further demonstrates, the pro-abortion forces will stop at nothing to get taxpayer dollars for their work," she said.
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