******************** THIS BLOG HAS MOVED TO WWW.LEGALINSURRECTION.COM ********************

This blog is moving to www.legalinsurrection.com. If you have not been automatically redirected please click on the link.

NEW COMMENTS will NOT be put through and will NOT be transferred to the new website.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Pelosi's Abortion Land Mine May Go "Boom"

Back in November 2009, when the House passed its version of Obamacare, I wrote that Nancy Pelosi had obtained victory at the cost of planting an abortion land mine in the form of the Stupak Amendment.

No Stupak Amendment, no House "Yes" vote in November.

The game played was that the language would be modified in the Senate, thereby securing pro-choice votes in the House to whom the Stupak Amendment was anathema.

The Senate played along, and modified the Stupak Amendment language.

Now the ball is back in the House. Stupak is standing firm, so far, that no Stupak Amendment language, no "Yes" vote.

Pelosi still seems to need Stupak because she still is courting his vote, and those of his block of (depending whom you ask) 6-10 House members.

There is a further problem, however, which is that changes in the Senate abortion language will not pass via reconciliation, and even if such a change could pass in that manner, there would be a full-out revolt among pro-choice Senators.

Firedoglake is reporting that Stupak and Pelosi have come to an agreement on a means of passing Stupak language without having to go the reconciliation route. The details are somewhat complicated, but there would be an attempt to use a Concurrent Resolution.

I have no idea if this alleged Concurrent Resolution deal really is a deal, or if the procedure would work. We may find out at Stupak's 11 a.m. press conference today.

The reaction to such a deal will be screams of anger, and maybe a loss of numerous votes in the House, from pro-choice advocates.

Pelosi sold out her base to get passage of a bill in November, and now is preparing (allegedly) to sell out her base again through procedural maneuvers to get Stupak his language in order to pass a Senate bill her base hates.

Pelosi could have avoided this land mine by scaling back the sweeping restructuring and starting with consensus reforms which would have had Republican and popular support, in which case the issue of abortion would have been irrelevant. But that would have been so not her.

We'll find out pretty soon if the land mine will go "boom." It it does, chalk it up to Pelosi's ego and hubris.

Update 11:00 a.m. - Stupak has postponed his scheduled press conference. Deal or no deal? Maybe Pelosi doesn't need him, or maybe she can't cut a deal which will fly with the pro-choice members. A Stupak spokeswoman says "discussions are continuing."

Update 12:54 p.m. - No deal. Stupak "done with" Pelosi. So what does it mean?

Related Posts:
Pelosi's Abortion Land Mine Explodes
In The End: No Public Option, No Abortions, No Pelosi, No Reid
Democrats Sold Their Party's Reproductive Soul

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook
Bookmark and Share


  1. "Pelosi could have avoided this land mine by scaling back the sweeping restructuring and starting with consensus reforms which would have had Republican and popular support, in which case the issue of abortion would have been irrelevant. But that would have been so not her."

    Absolutely. I just can't wrap myself around the "why" of this.

    Given that most square pegs won't fit into round holes, and even the most adroit application of a sledge hammer will result in damage to both the peg AND the hole... why are they doing this, this way, when there are so many options available that both sides actually COULD agree on?

  2. I honestly can't comprehend the degree to which our elected officials are completely out of touch with the rest of us. What part of the idea that a vast majority of Americans don't want a government takeover of health care don't these people understand? Even Stupek said he wants to see a "health care bill" and one can logically conclude that if there was abortion language to his liking that we wouldn't even be talking about him because he would have already voted for the damn thing. No wonder they don't want any of them to go back to their districts and face reality.

  3. I am continually blown away by all the maneuverings going on in Washington. I've never seen anything like this and it scares me to death.

  4. It's not just the 'three' provisions for abortion.

    The language that pretty much says, we're not talking about taking you off life support, if we feel it's not worth it, you will not get life support to begin with.

    The language for the board that decides.

    They need to work on the conscience clause language.

    It's the preventative crap as well, they're running your body. Look at the UK.

    Most importantly, it shouldn't be done with this bill at all. It should be scrapped.

    There's nothing to discuss or compromise about.

    No one noticed what they put in TARP relating to this and what the schools bill they tacked on will result in.

    Because if these people get away with this, amnesty and cap and trade are next, using the 'Slaughter Rule'. So on principle alone, it should be fought against.

    They have to know they work for the people, on our dollars, listening to us... not for what Obama wants.

    They should be taught the constitution, procedure, separation of powers, states rights, history (and why this crap fails, what it does to a country), the free markets and the definition of private property.

    Scrap it. This is just one thing... there's many that take away our freedom.

  5. Bart Stupak is an absolute fool if he believes anything Pelosi and Obama have to say. However, she has probably flipped him and a good portion of the 12 other votes he has. So, that is game, set, match..

    And while I wish I was as optimistic as Prof. Jacobson, I just do not see how liberal Democrats will refuse to vote for this bill after this latest compromise.

    As I have said all along, in the end, a Democrat is a Democrat. This bill will be passed tomorrow afternoon, and will be the law of the land shortly thereafter. The Democrats simply refuse to follow the will of the people, and all of this posturing will make no difference in the end.

  6. Pelosi is not the only one to have sold out her base. It seems to me that the entire Democratic party has sold out the American people. Everyone knows that healthcare will raise the taxes of the average person. Congress seems to not care. interestingly, I find it ironic that the percentage of people who support this healthcare bill is just about equal to the percentage of Americans who pay no federal income tax.
    This is why there has to be a flat across the board tax on every person who lives and works in the US. Everyone needs to have a horse in this race, and know that every tax law passed has a potential to take from your children.

  7. Just a guy:
    "Absolutely. I just can't wrap myself around the "why" of this."


    Dave B:
    "I honestly can't comprehend the degree to which our elected officials are completely out of touch with the rest of us. What part of the idea that a vast majority of Americans don't want a government takeover of health care don't these people understand?"

    Agreed...that in light of what they say they're trying to accomplish the way they're going about it doesn't make much sense.

    But better and cheaper health care is just the carrot they're holding in front of you so that you don't notice where you're being led (and I'm using the generic 'you'...not necessarily you specifically).

    I believe that the end game of this exercise is access to much of the remaining personal wealth that exists with the citizens of the this country. The pathways into your personal finances that this bill opens up are the most frightening aspect of it all to me.

    I suspect that in the future they'll be able to jigger with the amount you 'owe' Obamacare and collect via the IRS via wage garnishments or whatever...without going through the normal legislative process. Some committee somewhere, answerable only to yet another committee, answerable to some congressional sub-committee, will be tasked with adjusting the various sliders that will calculate your portion. And your portion will be based on come calculus of your entire net worth.
    And by the time it gets straightened out and stopped (if ever) they will have fleeced everyone with any type of investments...whether it be a lowly 401k, profit sharing, mutual funds, land, etc. We are all destined towards retirement more or less completely dependent on the government.

    But in the meantime...the government is broke. Dead, flat, broke. Access to your money is the is what is hidden inside this legislative abomination, and 'healthcare' is the bow they've wrapped the package with so that the rubes will think they're getting something.

    There was a time, once, when most people had a healthy skepticism of government promises. Not any more. Obama isn't necessarily the problem. The problem is that a majority of the voting population is naive and gullible enough to buy his snake oil. Or, as was said better elsewhere:(http://tickerforum.org/cgi-ticker/akcs-www?post=128754&page=8#new)
    "The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the presidency. It will be easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president"

    I've given up trying to convince family and friends. They're either convinced Obama and his buddies are benevolent allies to all that is decent and just...or they're too busy with Idol and/or sports and/or Tiger and/or Bullock. It disgusts me.

  8. 3 things
    (1) Don't give up. It is not over yet.
    (2) Even if it passes, it can be undone with the same maneuvering by the new congress. We don't have to view this like we are stuck with it forever.
    (3) Independent Patriot - you are so right. The Democratic philosophy is to pander to the minorities at every turn, just to insure their vote and Democratic Power. The people that are not paying for it are the ones that are for it.

  9. "But that would have been so not her."

    Truer words were never typed.

    I'm starting to have a Pavlovian response to her image and voice.

    God help us all.

  10. For all the so-called moderates and "centrists" who wonder why conservatives just can't set aside the abortion issue for the sake of advancing the less polarizing cause of fiscal responsibility, you're watching the reason why.

    Since Roe in 1973, the people at the forefront of the pro-abortion movement have refused to be swayed by increasing understanding of early stages of human development and medical advances in aiding the viability of premature babies. They want their right to treat a breathing human with a heart beat as if it was a rupturing appendix, to be ripped out and discarded like medical garbage. And they are even MORE intractable -- Pelosi, DeGette, and their colleagues are apparently willing to sacrifice their "historic" (aarrgh!) victory if every American woman cannot pass along the costs for that deadly "choice" to every taxpayer.

    Compromising on pro-life principles is neither morally or economically sound.

  11. If you are resident of NY District 19 (as I am: Westchester, Dutches, Putnam, Rockland) , please contact (D) John Hall and tell him to vote NO. I had given up on him earlier because he's such a fan of public Option but was surprised to learn this morning (washington post) that he is UNDECIDED. Surprising, as Hall is staunch progressive. Remind him of Rob Astorino's victory and the consequences of his vote this November.

    Should add that there has been a number of Democrats who had switched to NO from their previous YES which the Media has left unreported. The O'Reily segment last night surmise...Pelosi and Media are trying create this false "...aura of inevitability" to disheartened Republicans and wavering Democrats. So don't succumb to it. Don't give up.

    Again, write John Hall and every other Democrat who is undecided. Above all else, pray for the Deliverance of our Republic this Sunday.

    Write (D) John Hall NY19 : Tell him to Vote No.

  12. Via Drudge, Byron York (at The Examiner) is reporting that the Rules Committee was in chaos over exactly what they are amending.

    According to York, the following exchange took place, including a very confusing remark from Chairman Henry Waxman:

    . . .
    The Rules Committee meeting turned into mass confusion when Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman said, "We're not going to 'deem' the bill passed. We're going to pass the Senate bill…I would be against the idea of 'deeming' something -- we either pass it or we don't."

    To Republican ears, that sounded as if Waxman was speaking out in support of a direct vote on the Senate plan. "I hope we're making news here," said Republican Rep. Joe Barton. If so, Barton added, "Praise the Lord!" Other Democrats jumped in to say that no, there would not be a direct vote on the Senate bill.
    . . . .

    The issue is that it is not a law until the President has signed it.

    But the members of the House are terrified of passing that bill, and it going to the President without some guarantee that there are amendments inextricably linked to the bill.

    It seems to me that by having now amended the Senate Bill in the House, the only way to both gain passage and inextricably bind amendments thereto, would be through the use of some kind of a "tie-bar" provision, perhaps one like the I once mentioned (in another comment thread) has been used in New Jersey to get around the constitutional limitation that says that "every law shall embrace but one object."

    Has that been done on the federal level? Or, would the use of such a provision be raising yet another significant federal constitutional issue?

    Gee, and if they decided to do something like that, it seems to me that they wouldn't really have passed the same bill until the "tie-bar" language was also included as an amendment and passed by the Senate as well.

    After all, the bills must be identical!

    So, how could they do that now without going back to the filibuster situation?

    Or, is the Senate somehow going to "deem" it into the bill? And if so, when?

    Heh. Is it possible they may have more problems than they thought they did!

  13. The fervently pro-choice crowd is insignificant. Pelosi has gone as far as she can to hold off the Stupak language only because she's an anti-life nut herself.