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Hope for Obamacare Opponents? Stupak-Pelosi Deal Collapses For Now; UPDATE: NBC and Politico Report Pelosi Says No Deal

March 20th, 2010 by AHFF Geoff

Pro-Life House Dem. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), seen here with President Obama, apparently stated this morning that he is "finished with Pelosi"

In what may be the most encouraging sign for opponents of Obamacare since the 222-203 House vote in favor of the “Slaughter Solution” (which “deems” the Senate bill “passed” without an up or down vote), Democratic congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI) has cancelled his 11AM press conference and told some House GOP colleagues that any deal regarding abortion language with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has collapsed:

Two pro-life GOP members close to Stupak tell NRO that any Stupak deals are off. They just spoke with him and they said he’s finished with Pelosi. They rejected his enrollment corrections proposal.

It appears that the potential Stupak-Pelosi deal regarding strict language to eliminate any federal funding of abortion services in Obamacare has been scotched by pro-abortion House Democrats who reacted with outrage that Pelosi was even discussing such a deal with Stupak:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday evening met with a visibly angry Pro-Choice Caucus amid rumors from Democratic aides that the Speaker was working on a last-minute deal with Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) to give his abortion language a separate vote.

Leadership aides, including those in the Speaker’s office, would not comment, but a senior Democratic aide directly involved in the abortion debate said Pelosi appeared to have agreed to give Stupak a vote on an “enrollment resolution” offered by Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), a key Stupak ally.

Cutting against any hope for Obamacare opponents is the opinion of longtime non-partisan political veteran analyst Larry Sabato, who tweeted that

This will be a spectacular weekend as spring is sprung. Don’t waste it watching media counts on health care. It’s over. Bill will pass House.

The news that the leader of anti-abortion Democrats in the House, Bart Stupak, may be “finished with Pelosi” provides a bit of hope for opponents as most vote counts for Obamacare include at least half of the dozen or so anti-abortion House Democrats that have followed Stupak’s lead on this issue in the past, such as the first vote in September 2009 on Obamacare in the House.     However, Fox News and others are reporting on the air that Stupak’s spokeswoman is stating that talks are “ongoing” so whether a deal is to be struck between Stupak and Pelosi is anyone’s guess.

Regardless of your opinion on the all-important, historic vote to be held tomorrow on Obamacare in the House, Americans should make their views known to Congress by calls to their representatives both today and tomorrow as the last few hours expire before perhaps the most important vote in the House of Representatives in many decades.

UPDATE: Moments ago, NBC News reported via twitter that there will be no deal between Pelosi and Stupak regarding more stringent language to stop federal funding of abortion:

Speaker Pelosi (D-Calif.) says there will be no additional abortion language in health care bill to placate Rep. Bart Stupak (D–Mich)- NBC

Politico adds the following confirmation that Pelosi has chosen to cease all negotiations with Stupak and try to find 216 votes another way:

Anti-abortion Democrats renewed their threat to sink an overhaul of the nation’s health care system Saturday, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decided not to give them a separate vote that would have implemented a strict ban on federal funds subsidizing abortion.

House leaders chose not to give Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) a vote on making the anti-abortion fix to the bill and will instead try to muster the 216 votes needed to send a health care overhaul to the president without his help, a Democratic aide confirmed.

Pelosi said Saturday that she plans to allow no changes outside of a possible leadership-written manager’s amendment.

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