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November 07, 2009

Health Care In The House UPDATE: Rule Passes, Debate Is On. UPDATE: GOP Whip Says 31 Dems No On Obama Care UPDATING

UPDATE [DiT]: Watching the debate, right now arguments over the abortion funding amendment. Heated arguments, defenders say "this bill doesn't change current law". Don't know what other arguments have taken place earlier, but it's interesting... Mike Pence speaking now, in favor of the amendment, thanking Stupak...this thing is supposed to go to midnight EST

7:56 EDT Stupak seems serious on this.


There are two procedural votes, one on ordering the previous question and the other on adopting the rule. This is not the vote on the bill itself but the rules under which the debate will take place. They are procedural votes that the Democrats will win easily, simply because they are leader votes and all Democrats will vote for them.

Then the debate starts.

4 hours of general debate, 2 amendments will be in order (including the Stupak abortion amendment) and the GOP substitute.

The abortion amendment is where the action will be.

Under the agreement, anti-abortion Democrats will be permitted to offer an amendment on the House floor to the health-care overhaul bill. The amendment would prohibit a new government-run insurance plan created by the health-care bill from offering to cover abortion services, congressional sources said. It also would block people who received federal subsidies for the purchase of health insurance from buying policies that offered coverage for abortions.

The deal clears the way for the dozens of Democratic lawmakers who oppose abortion to lend their support to the health care package, the most dramatic expansion of health coverage in more than 40 years. It also satisfies the demands of Catholic bishops, who otherwise support the House legislation.

Republicans are saying they will vote for it, while lots of liberals are lining up against it.

If the Stupak Amendment fails, will enough of its Democratic supporters vote against the underlying bill to kill it? Or if it passes, will enough liberals bail to kill the bill.

My guess is the former is possible but the latter unlikely. Abortion supporters will hold their nose and simply figure they can 'fix' it in conference.

Obama was up on the Hill this morning rallying Democrats for the bill. and right now the GOP says there are 21 Democrats voting no on the bill. Pelosi has 40 votes to play with.

Politico has a list of the undecideds they appear to updating as announcements are made.

Here's The Hill's whip count page.

It's going to be a long day. Supposedly no vote until at least 10:30 tonight and those schedules always slip.

Credit where credit is due, Pelosi was smart to allow a vote on the Stupak amendment. The GOP probably has to vote for it and it will pass. That will enable a number of swing Dems to vote for the bill because as I said above, liberals won't vote no just over an abortion restriction they figure will either be tossed by the Senate or eventually the courts.

My guess is it will pass today, very narrowly. Then the battle moves to the more minority friendly Senate.

UPDATE: The rule passed. They are now doing some sort of silly Suspension Bill recognizing the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Fun stuff...Hoyer led the House in cheering for John Dingle. Nice touch and all but then a Republican got up and asked unanimous consent that Dingle be given back the Chairmanship of the House Energy And Commerce Committee. Pelosi replaced him, the Dean of the House, with Henry Waxman because Dingle, being from Michigan, would never have moved on Cap and Tax.

They have dealt with the Suspension Bill and now it's on.


Correction: Anti-Harkkonen Freedom Fighter points out the linked story is from yesterday and not up to date.

Delayed due to lack of support? Steny Hoyer says maybe.

UPDATE: As of about 4:30 EST the GOP Whips Office says 31 Dems are a No on health care.

That's about 9 short of killing it, depending on how many vote. The question is, will some of them switch to yes if Stupak passes or worse, will some who would vote no if Stupak fails be yes because it passes with Republican votes?

I get many GOP reps want to vote against abortion whenever they can but the way to ensure that federal funds don't pay for abortions is to kill Obama Care not to pass the Stupak amendment.

Bohener just got Rangel to admit he can't guarantee that if Stupak passes, he can't guarantee that it will survive conference or that Rangel himself will vote against a bill that doesn't have Stupak in it.

The GOP has to vote no on this. It's a sham. Kill the bill and kill it now.

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posted by DrewM. at 01:13 PM

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