Obama Begins Lobbying, But Pro-Life Democrats Against Pro-Abortion Health Care

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 15, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Obama Begins Lobbying, But Pro-Life Democrats Against Pro-Abortion Health Care

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 15
, 2010

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — President Barack Obama is starting his arm twisting campaign in earnest today by inviting Democratic holdouts on the pro-abortion health care bill to one-on-one meetings with him at the White House. But it appears from public comments that some pro-life Democrats are holding firm against the bill.

Last week, President Barack Obama invited New York Rep Scott Murphy for a private meeting at the White House.

Today, reports indicate it appears Murphy may flip to yes from a no vote against the pro-abortion health care bill. If that happens, Greg Sargent of the Plum Line Blog suggests its a harbinger of more meetings.

"According to a source familiar with the meeting, the President asked Murphy what he needed in the bill in order to support it. Murphy is being closely watched right now because he voted No last time, and flipping him to Yes would be a key get for Dem vote-counters," Sargent writes.

"The meeting is interesting because it suggests that on-the-fence Dems such as Murphy are seriously in the hunt for something to give them the cover they need to support the bill. That’s because the pressure on them to vote Yes is excruciatingly intense,’ he continues. "The White House, too, is amping up the efforts at persuasion, so expect more one-on-one meetings like this one, with the President making a direct effort to give individual House Dems what they need to climb aboard."

But it appears what some pro-life Democrats need — but are not getting — are assurances that abortions will not be funded with taxpayer dollars.

Rep. Steve Driehaus is getting help from pro-abortion Vice President Joe Biden in a fundraiser tonight for his re-election bid, but that doesn’t mean the freshman Democrat is a yes vote on the pro-abortion health care bill.

The Hill indicates he is still a likely no vote because of the abortion funding.’

"While I certainly support this initiative… I will not bend on the principle of federal funding on abortion…. They are going to have to do it without me and without the other pro-life Democrats," he said.

CNN indicates the numbers continue to favor the pro-life side.

Backers of the pro-abortion bill need 216 votes to pass it and with no Republicans supporting it, they can’t afford to lose many Democrats.

"Of the 37 Democrats who voted against the House plan in November, 14 indicated they would vote against the Senate plan as written, 12 remained uncommitted, and 11 have not returned repeated calls from CNN," it reported.

And of the 21 House Democrats who voted yes last time, Reps. Michael Arcuri of New York, Marion Berry of Arkansas, Tim Bishop of New York, Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, Daniel Lipinski of Illinois, and Bart Stupak of Michigan have said they will vote no — with berry, Lipinski and Stupak doing so because of the abortion funding.

At least eight members remained uncommitted, CNN indicated, and that includes Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, according to the Erie, Pennsylvania newspaper.

But Dahlkemper’s spokeswoman told the newspaper she may be a no vote because of abortion.

"She was opposed to the Senate abortion language. Period,” the representative’s media person Marie Francis said.

Heath Shuler of North Carolina is another no vote because of abortion funding.

These positions led House Minority Leader John Boehner, the top Republican, to tell CNN’s "State of the Union" yesterday that Speaker Pelosi would have called for a vote by now if she had the votes.

"If she had 216 votes this bill would be long gone," Boehner said.

Democrats "tried to pass it in September, October, November, December, January, February," Boehner said. "Guess what? They don’t have the votes."

Boehner confirmed he thinks if they somehow pass the bill, Americans will be so upset they will elect Republicans in November, sweeping out the pro-abortion Democratic leadership.

"I think we have a chance at winning Republican control of the House," Boehner said. "It’s a steep climb but it’s doable."

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