Bart Stupak: Nancy Pelosi Lacks Votes for Pro-Abortion Health Care in House

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 12, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Bart Stupak: Nancy Pelosi Lacks Votes for Pro-Abortion Health Care in House

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 12
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her top Democratic lieutenants are pushing the Senate pro-abortion health care bill. However, a top pro-life Democrat and political observers say she doesn’t have the votes to get the abortion-funding measure through the House.

As reported yesterday, Democrats are crafting their final plan to push the Senate bill and they say they have the votes even without the help of pro-life Democrats who are firmly against the bill or still undecided.

But Rep. Bart Stupak, the top pro-life Democrat in the House, told Fox News last night that Pelosi lacks the votes she needs for passage.

“No, I don’t think so,” Stupak said about whether Pelosi reached her magic number.

"I don’t see how they’re going to get the votes to pass healthcare, no matter what procedure they use, if they want to do it by March 18th," Stupak said. "I don’t see it."

“This was proposed today at the caucus and many members spoke up and said no. It’s not good enough," Stupak added.

"We’re not going to pass a bill — first of all, members don’t like the Senate bill. Especially with the special deals in it. Why would we vote for it, send it to the President so he can sign it and it becomes law, then the special deals are law, and then trust that they’re going to fix it later? It’s not just me. Many members said they don’t agree with that process," Stupak said.

Stupak also said the timeline doesn’t add up as well.

“There’s so much in play here and no one has a final draft of what the bill’s supposed to be and supposed to vote on and yet they claim in caucus today that you’ll have seven days to look at it,” Stupak said. “Well, seven days, if my math is right, today’s the 11th, seven days is the 18th and they expect us to vote on it so they’ll have to have that bill done by midnight tonight? These are unanswered questions.”

Underscoring Stupak’s point, Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois said he has changed from yes to no on the Senate bill and added that other Hispanic lawmakers may join him because of their concerns over immigration.

"They are enough to say I can’t support this bill," Gutierrez told MSNBC about his concerns.

Meanwhile, Michael Barone of the Wall St. Journal doesn’t think Pelosi, Waxman and company will be able to get enough votes in the House.

"Are there enough votes in the House to pass the Senate’s health-care bill? As of today, it’s clear there aren’t," he writes in a Thursday morning column. "Speaker Nancy Pelosi has indeed shown mastery at amassing majorities. But it’s hard to see how she’ll do so on this one. The arithmetic as I see it doesn’t add up."

"The House passed its version of the health bill in November by 220-215. Of those 220, one was a Republican who now is a no. One Democrat who voted yes has died, two Democrats who voted yes have resigned, and one Democrat who voted no has resigned as well. So if everyone but the Republican votes the way they did four months ago, the score would be 216-215," he continues.

The Stupak dozen potentially deprives Pelosi of anywhere from 6-12 votes depending on how many of them stay firm on opposing the Senate bill.

"Pelosi may have some votes in reserve—members who would have voted yes if she needed them in November and would do so again. But we can be pretty sure she doesn’t have more than 10, or she wouldn’t have allowed the Stupak amendment to come forward at the last minute the first time. She also might get one or two votes from members who voted no and later announced they were retiring," Barone says.

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