In case you haven't heard, pro-life lawmakers won a big battle against liberals late last night when they struck a deal with the Democratic House Leadership (Pelosi and Hoyer) that will allow them to offer much stricter language on abortion coverage in the healthcare reform bill. Read more on that from my late night post here.
A couple updates.(after afew hours sleep) The amendment is technically called the Stupak-Ellsworth-Pitts-Smith-Kaptur-Dahlkemper amendment. Reps. Bart Stupak (D-MI), Joe Pitts (R-PA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA), Dan Lipinski (D-IL), and Chris Smith (R-NJ) all testified before the House Rules Committee early Saturday morning in support of their amendment to address the abortion funding concerns in H.R. 3962.
A Pro-Life aide is circulating the following as to what the amendment will do:
"The amendment maintains the current policy of preventing federal funding for abortion and for benefits packages that include abortion. However, it clarifies that individuals, both who receive affordability credits and who do not, can with their own funds purchase separate supplemental coverage for elective abortions. It also clarifies that private plans that do not receive government subsidies may still offer elective abortions. "
Expect a vote at any point today (Saturday) The amendment is expected to narrowly pass since more than 40 House Pro-Life Democrats will combine with virtually all Republicans to reach that magical 218 number for the amendment to pass. If it passes, it's going to drive liberals absolutely crazy. They will have a decision to make at that point. Either vote NO on the overall healthcare reform bill because the bill will now NOT allo federal funds to pay for abortions OR swallow hard and vote YES on healthcare reform anyhow.
A top Republican source on the Hill tells The Brody File the following:
"The Stupak amendment is expected to garner significant Republican support because it is strictest possible abortion language. The vote on Mr. Stupak’s amendment looks like it will be very close, and if it passes then the liberal Democrats will just have to swallow it if they want to pass the overall bill."