Friday, March 12, 2010

Democrats abandon attempts to alter abortion language in health care reform

The Associated Press is reporting the Democratic leadership is going full steam ahead on reconciliation without changing the abortion language.
House Democratic leaders Thursday abandoned a long struggle to strike a compromise on abortion in their ranks, gambling that they can secure the support for President Barack Obama's sweeping health care legislation with showdown votes looming as early as next week......

One of the toughest hurdles facing Pelosi involves abortion. Some anti-abortion Democrats say the Senate language is not sufficiently airtight to prevent taxpayer dollars from mingling with money that might be used to subsidize abortions.

Others disagree, and party leaders acknowledged Thursday they can't resolve the dispute using budget reconciliation rules. Instead they hope that only a few House Democrats who voted for the health care package in November will now switch to "no" because of the abortion issue. Party leaders think they can offset those defections by persuading some of the 39 House Democrats who voted "no" last year to switch to "yes."

Many House Democrats who oppose legalized abortion "are either satisfied enough with the Senate provision, or they decide that that's as much as they're going to get and they don't want to defeat health care," said Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

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