From Tony Perkins at Family Research Council
July 31, 2009 - Friday
Blue Dogs See Red over Abortion
The Democrats who had hoped for a relaxing August away from Washington are in for a rocky road home after last night's news that abortion coverage has been explicitly included in the House bill. FRC staffers were in the room when Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) introduced an amendment in committee that mandated taxpayer-funded abortion as part of the overhaul. The measure, which was debated during the Energy and Commerce mark-up, passed 30-28. Not only does the Capps amendment ensure that abortion will be covered, but it also requires that an abortion plan be made available in every U.S. region!
FRC has warned for months that taxpayers would be forced into the abortion business as part of health care "reform," and Planned Parenthood called us liars. MSNBC, NARAL, Daily Kos, and the "religious left" have all accused FRC of misleading the public about the existence of an abortion mandate. Now there's further proof. Of course, we didn't need the Capps amendment to verify that abortion would be included in the final package. All voters needed to know is that Congress has had the opportunity to ban abortion coverage outright, and it didn't. Multiple amendments have now been offered by pro-life members to specifically prohibit taxpayer-funded abortion as part of these bills. And every single one--including last night's from Reps. Bart Stupak and Joe Pitts--failed. Led by Stupak, six Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee joined with the Republicans to keep this radical expansion of government-sponsored abortion out of the House bill. Today, pro-life Democrats pushed back with another amendment that would have nullified the Capps amendment and protected taxpayers from subsidizing abortion. Unfortunately, it also lost.
While Stupak tries to block abortion coverage, conservative Democrats are working around the clock on a deal with their liberal members to trim costs and eliminate the government's heavy hand in the system. Despite all the time spent ironing out the Democrats' differences, it seems that this "compromise" is nothing but political theater. According to the liberal leadership, most of the changes made by conservative Democrats could be stripped from the bill when it leaves committee. Minority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) told ABC News yesterday that "he could not guarantee that the concessions negotiated into the bill by conservative 'Blue Dog' Democrats would survive in a final product." The leadership is making a mockery of conservative Democrats--a decision sure to haunt the Speaker if the Blue Dogs retaliate by pulling their support
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