Democrats Don’t Yet Have Votes, Stupak and Pro-Life Democrats Undecided

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 21, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Democrats Don’t Yet Have Votes, Stupak and Pro-Life Democrats Undecided

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 21
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — As the hours count down until President Barack Obama and Democrats call up the pro-abortion health care bill for a vote, the numbers game appears to show that they do not have the votes. With Stupak and his pro-life Democrats still holding out and some Democrats voting no, Pelosi is short.

With late-breaking decisions today, Tennessee Democrats, Reps. John Tanner and Lincoln Davis said they plan to vote against the pro-abortion bill.

That puts Pelosi in a tough spot, because she can afford to lose only 37 Democrats and still have 216 votes to pass the bill.

However, according to The Hill, a top Capitol Hill newspaper, there are no 39 Democrats planning to vote no.

Other Democrats are still listed in the undecided column and they could still turn against Pelosi and add to the number of no votes. They include Reps Jim Cooper of Tennessee, Kathy Dahlkemper and Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania, Alan Mollohan of West Virginia, and a few others.

Reps. Marion Berry of Arkansas, Rick Boucher of Virginia and Mike McMahon of New York are considered possible lawmakers who could decide at the last minute.

Some of those members are part of the Stupak coalition of about 7-8 lawmakers who plan to vote no unless an agreement is reached to prevent abortion funding. Despite reports from NPR, Politico and MSNBC, Stupak has said he is not a yes vote and that a deal has not materialized.

That potential deal on an executive order has been widely criticized by pro-life groups, top Republicans, and the nation’s Catholic bishops.

Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser told this afternoon that a potential Executive Order from the White House to address concerns about abortion funding in the health care legislation won’t work.

“An executive order on abortion funding would do nothing to fix the problems presented by the current health care reform legislation that the House is considering today," she said.

"The very idea is a slap in the face to the pro-life movement and should be offensive to all pro-life Members of Congress. An executive order can be rescinded at any time at the President’s whim. The courts could and have a history of trumping executive orders," she added.

“If this was a sincere attempt to meet pro-life concerns then you would hear the cry of pro-choice Members and groups," Dannenfelser pointed out.

Rather Rep. Diana DeGette, co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus told The Huffington Post on Saturday that "If there was an executive order saying they weren’t going to use federal funds in the bill to pay for abortions that would be fine with me."

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