Pelosi, Democrats Twisting Arms for Pro-Abortion Health Care "Suicide Mission"

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 1, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pelosi, Democrats Twisting Arms for Pro-Abortion Health Care "Suicide Mission"

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 1
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top Democrats are now in the process of trying to twist enough arms in the House and Senate to railroad the pro-abortion health care bill through Congress. The vote-gathering process is derided by some Republicans as a mission of political suicide because it is so unpopular.

Democrats are bent on using the controversial reconciliation process to get the bill approved.

That’s where they use a procedural trick normally reserved for important bills funding the federal government that prohibits a filibuster in the Senate — where Democrats would otherwise not have the 60 votes needed to get the bill approved.

In an effort to gain traction in the messaging war on television and with Americans who oppose the bill by more than 20 points, they’re tacking a new tack of calling the process getting a "simple majority."

“Health care reform has already passed both the House and the Senate with not only a majority in the Senate but a supermajority,” White House health care czar Nancy-Ann DeParle said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “And we’re not talking about changing any rules here. All the president’s talking about is: Do we need to address this problem, and does it make sense to have a simple, up-or-down vote."

And Pelosi herself has a new approach to gaining support for the bill — inventing bipartisanship. Pelosi says she doesn’t need Republican votes to be bipartisan.

"The bill can be bipartisan, even though the votes might not be bipartisan," Pelosi said on CNN’s "State of the Union."

And she urged her colleagues to support the bill even if it threatens their political careers.

“Lawmakers sometimes must enact policies that, even if unpopular at the moment, will help the public, Pelosi said on the ABC News program ‘This Week.’ “‘We’re not here just to self-perpetuate our service in Congress."

Republicans say the effort to ramrod the pro-abortion health care bill through Congress will cost Democrats at the polls in November.

“I’ll tell you one thing, if Speaker Pelosi rams this bill through the House using a reconciliation process, they will lose their majority in Congress in November,” pro-life House Minority Whip Eric Cantor said over the weekend on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander says pushing the pro-abortion health care bill would be political suicide for Democrats.

On “This Week”, Sen. Alexander to told Elizabeth Vargas, “It would be a political kamikaze mission for the Democratic Party if they jam this through after the American people have been saying.”

Alexander also said, if Democrats do pass a health care reform bill, “for the rest of the year, we’re going to be involved in a campaign to repeal it.”

He added that Democrats would pay a political price for passing health care: “Every Democratic candidate in the country is going to be defined by this unpopular health care bill at a time when the real issues are jobs, terror and debt.”

If Democrats are going to pass the pro-abortion health care bill, a consensus appears to have arisen around the idea that the House must go first with the reconciliation bill (making changes to the health care legislation without fixing the abortion funding and other pro-abortion problems) coming after.

That means a chamber that barely approved its health care bill the first time must approve a Senate bill that 10-12 pro-life Democrats will oppose, that the lone Republican to back the House bill will oppose, and that may even lose votes from other Democrats on unrelated political issues.

One pro-life Republican said what many have been thinking.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, on Face the Nation, discussing whether Democrats have the votes to pass the bill, responded, "If they had the votes, we wouldn’t have had the summit."

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