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Stupak, On Fox News, Says He’ll Take Down The Bill Over His Amendment

Bart Stupak, who apparently has become a Fox News guest all of a sudden, told the friendly friends of Fox and Friends that he’s locked up the votes to block the health care bill if his amendment is stripped, using highly technical Congressional jargon like “fair and square”:

“They’re not going to take it out,” Stupak said on Fox and Friends, referring to Senate Democrats. “If they do, health care will not move forward.” […]

White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod said over the weekend that he expected Stupak’s language to be “adjusted.”

Stupak disagreed.

“We won fair and square,” Stupak said of the House vote. “[T]hat is why Mr. Axelrod is not a legislator, he doesn’t really know what he is talking about.”

The Michigan Democrat said he has enough votes to take down the whole bill if his amendment is replaced with a weaker version.

“If they strip our language…they keep the Capps amendment. At least ten to fifteen to twenty of us will not vote for it,” he said, referring to an amendment offered by pro-choice Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.)

There’s a huge difference between 10 and 20. In fact, only nine members who said they would vote down the bill without the Stupak amendment ended up voting for final passage. The rest of those members voted against the bill anyway. So 10 is probably the real number, as confirmed by James Clyburn last week. Chris Bowers has a target list for how to find those 8-10 votes if Stupak is stripped. And it’s not at all clear that they could not be found. In fact, before the vote, Stupak HIMSELF said that health care would pass whether his amendment passed or not. And the votes don’t look to be there in the Senate.

Now that it did pass the House, Stupak thinks he can bully the Congress into keeping his language. I’m not convinced by his bluster.

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David Dayen

David Dayen

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