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Stupak Abortion Language to Be Substituted for Senate Language in Deal to Secure Health Care Votes

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made a deal with Rep. Bart Stupak in order to secure his vote and that of other anti-choice Democrats for the health care bill, which is scheduled to be voted on this Sunday. According to a member of Congress who was briefed on the matter, Pelosi has agreed to let Stupak have a vote on his amendment, which instructs the Senate to substitute his language for the Senate language on abortion.

FDL has obtained a copy of the concurrent resolution (PDF1, PDF2, PDF3, PDF4), which includes cosponsors Marion Berry, Sanford Bishop, Joseph Cao, Kathy Dahlkemper, Steve Driehaus, Marcy Kaptur, Dan Lipinski, Alan Mollohan, and Nick Rahall. A second source confirms that with the exception of Cao, these are the members of Congress who are still on the fence. Cao is still considered a firm “no” vote.

The deal calls for Stupak to have a vote on his amendment either before or after the House votes to confirm the Senate bill on Sunday. Stupak is confident that he has the votes to pass the measure, and is happy to have the vote after the House passes the Senate bill. He believes that by using a “tie bar” approach, his amendment would be “tied” to the health care bill — which would require just 51 votes in the Senate.

Pro-choice members of the House, however, are demanding that the vote on the Concurrent Resolution happen before the House confirms the Senate bill. If in fact it passes, they plan to vote against confirming the Senate bill. They want Rep. Diana Degette to release the names of the 41 cosigners to her letter who pledged to vote against any bill that restricts a woman’s right to choose, and they are angry that the White House has been whipping to push through the Stupak deal.

“It is outrageous that a Democratic Speaker, a Democratic Majority Leader and a Democratic President should support rolling back women’s reproductive rights,” says one member of the group.

Alan Grayson, who voted against the Stupak Amendment when it went before the House last October, now has 80 cosponsors for his public option amendment, but has not been granted a floor vote.

“I wonder why we can have a vote to please the anti-choice clique, and we can’t have a vote on the public option,” he says.

Dave Dayen has an analysis of what’s included in the amendment.

Text of the Concurrent Resolution below the jump


MR. STUPAK (for himself, MR. Berry, Mr. Bishop of Georgia, Mr. Cao, Ms. Dahlkemper, Mr. Driehaus, Ms. Kaptur, Mr. Lipinski, Mr. Mollohan, and Mr. Rahall) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the committee on ________


Correcting the enrollment of H.R. 3590

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring) That in the enrollment of the bill H.R. 3590, the Clerk of the House of Representatives shall make the following corrections:

(1) In the section 1303 amended by section 10104(c) of the bill —

(A) in the section heading, insert “RELATING TO COVERAGE OF ABORTION SERVICES” after “SPECIAL RULES”; AND

(B) strike subsection (a) and all of subsection (b) that precedes paragraph (4) and insert the following:

“(a) IN GENERAL — Nothing in this Act (or any amendment made by this Act) shall be construed to require any health plan to provide coverage of abortion services or allow the Secretary or any other person or entity implementing this Act (or amendment) to require coverage of such services.


“(1) IN GENERAL — None of the funds authorized or appropriated by this Act (or an amendment made by this Act), including credits under section 36B of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986, shall be expected for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion, except in the case where a woman suffers from the physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, or unless the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest.

“(2) OPTION TO PURCHASE SEPARATE COVERAGE OR PLAN _- Subject to paragraph (1), nothing in this subsection shall be construed as prohibiting any non-Federal entity (including an individual or a State orlocal government) from purchasing separate coverage for abortions for which funding is prohibited under this subsection, or a plan that inclues such abortions, so long as such coverage or plan is not purchased using the non-Federal funds required to receive a Federal payment, including a preminum payment required for the qualified health plan towards whith the credit described in paragraph (1) is applied or a State’s or locality’s contribution of Medicaid matching funds.

“(3) OPTION TO OFFER COVERAGE OR PLAN — Subject to paragraph (1), nothing in this subsection shall restrict any non-Federal health insurance insurer offering a qualified health plan from offering separate coverage for abortions for which funding is prohibited under this subsection, or a plan that includes such abortions for which funding is prohibited under this subsection, or a plan that inclue3s such abortions, so long as any such insurer that offers a qualified health plan through any Exchange that includes coverage for abortions for which funding is prohibited under this subsection also offers a qualified health plan through the Exchange that is identical in every respect except it does not cover such abortions.”

(2) In subsection (a) of the section 1334 added by section 10104(q) of the bill, strike paragraph (6) and redesignate paragraph (7) as paragraph (6).

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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