As of now, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is still intent on pushing though health care legislation at some time tonight. With all Republicans expected to vote against it, Pelosi needs to make sure she doesn’t lose 41 Democratic votes, or else she won’t get the 218 votes needed to pass. According to the Politico, at least 23 Democrats are firm no votes at the moment.
President Obama is scheduled to visit the Capitol today to make a late push for Democratic votes, while House Republicans have called for another “House Call” protest in front of the Capitol today at 1 p.m.
The big news this morning is that there will be a floor vote later today on anti-abortion Democrat Rep. Bart Stupak’s amendment to apply the Hyde language to the current health care legislation, which would mean that the government plan could not pay for abortion, and women could not use federal subsidies to purchase health insurance policies that cover abortion.
Liberals have said that they could not vote for a bill if it includes the amendment, because they argue it would go beyond the language of the Hyde amendment since women would also be applying some of their own money to purchase insurance through the exchange.
“I forsee a return to the dark ages,” Alcee Hastings warned, according to the Hill. “I’m 73, I’ve seen these dark things, they use these coat hangers and die.”
And Planned Parenthood in a statement, declared, “A vote for Rep. Stupak’s amendment is a vote to weaken women’s access to comprehensive reproductive care and to take away private benefits that women currently have.”
Jan Schakowsky, on C-SPAN this morning, drew a distinction between today’s vote, which she called the “first step” and the vote on the ultimate bill once it gets reconciled with whatever comes out of the Senate. She said if the final bill includes the Stupak amendment, she would vote against it.
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