As I wrote earlier, the Stupak amendment to prevent taxpayer funding for abortion poses a dilemma for pro-life Republicans, since supporting the pro-life amendment would help ensure that the Pelosi bill moves forward. While the Republican leadership in the House and many of the members have said they would support the measure, Rep. John Shadegg has told Politico that he will vote “present,” and says at least 4 or 5 Republicans will join him:
“(Nancy) Pelosi is speaker and she’s pro abortion every minute of every hour of every day as speaker,” Shadegg said in an interview with POLITICO Saturday evening. “This is a vote to help her move the bill forward.”
He added: “This is a gut-wrenching issue for a lot of people…But I won’t support Pelosi’s bill, which is not pro-life at all.”
The item also notes that Shadegg has “has been bickering all day via email with his Republican colleagues” about how to vote, and disagrees with the pro-life groups who have announced they would negatively rate a “present” vote on the measure.
So, will enough Republicans join Shadegg and help block passage of the Stupak amendment? And if that language doesn’t make it in the bill, will Pelosi have enough votes to pass it? Right now, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor’s office counts 35 Democrats opposed to the larger health care bill — just five short of the number needed to defeat it, if the GOP caucus stands together. And that number doesn’t include the pro-life Democratic members who are currently undecided, awaiting the outcome of the vote on the Stupak amendment.