Friday, October 30, 2009

"‘With all due respect, sir, you do not have a plan."

At, Fred Lucas has an article about Congressman Bart Stupak's continued efforts to get a vote on an amendment to remove abortion funding from health care reform legislation.

Lucas notes how White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has changed his tune on abortion funding. Previously Gibbs had attempted to argue that the Hyde Amendment would prevent health care reform from funding abortion.
On Tuesday, Gibbs notably did not repeat this assertion—which has been vigorously refuted by both Stupak and the Catholic bishops--but simply stated that the president’s position is that no federal money should be used to pay for abortion in the health care bill.

Stupak told in a statement Thursday that he noticed Gibbs’ change of tack and that since Wednesday he has seen “increased willingness to keep the discussion going” in dealing with this and other issues in the health care bill.

The article also includes Stupak's memory of a discussion he had with President Obama on health care reform and abortion.
“I called him,” said Stupak. “I called the president--had a discussion with the president. And I read exactly what you just said [Obama's statement from his Sept. 9 speech saying that 'under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions']. And he said: ‘What it says is “under my plan”’—meaning the president’s plan. And I said: ‘With all due respect, sir, you do not have a plan. The only plan we have out is the House plan.’ So, I don’t know if it is a game of semantics or what.”

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