Earlier today, several members of the pro-choice caucus were steaming because they said the White House had released the text of the Executive Order to the press before they had seen it.

According to TPM, “Just before 4 p.m. ET, the White House released text of a compromise on abortion to help clear the way for passage of the health care legislation.

Stupak’s press conference started at 4pm.

McJoan reports that DeGette disputes that she didn’t see the final language before its release. From the Huffington Post:

“We looked at the language, we gave our comments and they left us and said we’ll get back to you,” said DeGette.

And when did they get back to you?

“About,” DeGette said, pulling out her BlackBerry to scroll through it looking for the e-mail. “Four o’clock.”

She said they signed off on the language after they received it at 4:00, meaning they signed off on it after Stupak’s press conference began and long after he had scheduled it.

The White House released the text of the Executive Order before 4pm. DeGette says she first got it at 4pm.

DeGette acknowledged that some in the pro-choice community may have felt left out of the process. “I think there might have been some issues with the pro-choice advocacy groups, but as far as I know, we’ve been given the language exactly at the same time as the other side has been,” she said.

The White House has already sent the language out to the press before DeGette even got it.  Stupak is giving a press conference while she’s still reading it.

I realize it’s a hectic day for members of Congress. But how could she possibly think she’d “been given the language exactly at the same time as the other side has been” if Stupak is in front of the cameras when she’s still going over it?

Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. 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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