Pro-Life Dems could kill the bill

Pro-Life Democrats appear ready to stop the Health Care Takeover, according to Fox News:

The health care reform bill passed by the Senate on Christmas Eve appears to be dead on arrival in the House, as seven anti-abortion Democrats intend to join the ranks of lawmakers who plan to vote against the legislation, Fox News has confirmed.

Seven new no votes would be enough to kill the Senate bill, and several more fence-sitting lawmakers are under pressure from both sides of the aisle.

Foremost among the seven new no votes is Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., whose anti-abortion amendment to the House version of the legislation got the bill passed in that chamber last year.

The House bill passed last year by a 220-215 vote.  With four House seats vacant, the new majority level is 216.  Losing seven to twelve “Yes” votes for the bill effectively kills the legislation as it stands. Bart Stupak introduced an amendment to the House bill that explicitly prohibited taxpayer funding for abortions.  Stupak and the other House Democrats do not feel the Senate bill has this prohibition and apparently do not trust the House and Senate leadership will be able to use reconciliation or other measures to “fix” the bill.

Prohibition against use of taxpayer funds for abortion have been the standard for 30 years, but congressional Republicans and some Democrats believe this bill would change that standing.  The Democrats cannot amend the bill, or it will have to go back to the Senate for passage, where the Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority was broken by the election of Scott Brown.

While this becomes a major road-block for the Democrats and could effectively kill the Senate bill, it does not stop the Democrats from trying again and again.  The fact that abortion is the major sticking point stopping the bill means that the Democrats know what to fix and how to re-craft a bill for future passage.  It is unfortunate that abortion is the obstruction and not say, the Unconstitutional and overtly intrusive nature of the legislation itself, the massive cost for the entitlement or the economy-killing taxes needed to pay for it.

The good news is that, if Stupak and his fellow Democrats hold their line against the bill, it means that cracks are beginning to form in Nancy Pelosi’s Botox-hardened armor.  Pelosi has been seen by Washington insiders as extremely effective at getting votes in favor of Democrat legislation, twisting the arms that need to be twisted to get bills passed.  This kind of failure will invariably harm her ability to craft and control the legislative agenda.

An unnamed Democrat told Fox News that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is “smart enough to realize” that without the Stupak Amendment in November, “the bill fails.”

“The debate is just like it was before,” the Democrat said.

Indeed.  Only this time, Stupak can’t offer an amendment to give his Pro-Life buddies the cover they feel they’ll need in November.

Cross-posted at The Minority Report.