Hit Me Baby One More Time

Hit Me Baby One More Time

by digby

Apparently, they simply have to make pro-choice supporters grovel, eat shit and beg for more before this damned bill can pass:

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.

Kaptur’s resolution contains the same abortion language that Stupak successfully attached at the 11th hour to the House healthcare bill in November. Were the resolution to pass the House, it would instruct the Senate clerk to change the healthcare bill to reflect Stupak’s more restrictive language to prohibit federal dollars from going toward abortion coverage.

Stupak late Friday said that he was still in talks with the Speaker on the possibility of such an enrollment resolution – which he and others have been floating as a possible solution this week.

“There's a proposal out there, and we want to see it in writing and massage it,” Stupak said. “We have nothing yet.”

Pelosi spoke on the floor with Stupak for 10 minutes immediately before a group of pro-abortion rights Democrats angrily surrounded Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), and then headed into the Speaker’s office just off the House floor.

Stupak, meanwhile, has scheduled a press conference at 11 a.m. Saturday. "Hopefully, tomorrow, I'll have it for you and can give it to you," he said of the proposal.

Stupak has maintained that he has enough votes to kill the healthcare bill, and has threatened to do so unless his demands that his language be included in the eventual healthcare law are met.

Stupak’s threats were real enough in November to force Pelosi to add his language to the House bill at the last minute. That language, which Stupak has said is the only language that upholds the Hyde Amendment, won the votes of 68 Democrats as an amendment to the House bill.

The vote prompted an angry backlash from members of the Pro-Choice Caucus, who vowed to kill any future healthcare bill containing the Stupak language, which they say goes beyond current law and places more restrictions on abortion than already exist.

Leaders of the Pro-Choice Caucus, some 30 minutes after storming into Pelosi’s office, renewed that threat.

“This concurrent resolution which Congressman Stupak and several others have filed, from the position of the people who signed my letter back in November, is a non-starter,” said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), a Pro-Choice Caucus co-chairwoman. “We compromised to the concept 'no federal funding for abortion,' which is current law -- we don't like that. And so if Mr. Stupak and a few members, along with the Republicans, decide to use this to take healthcare down, then that loss on healthcare coverage is going to be on their hands.”

DeGette said a move allowing the enrollment resolution to go forward would put “somewhere between 40 and 55” pro-abortion rights votes at stake.

That math was also leading to counter-rumors, including from aides of anti-abortion rights Democrats, that Pelosi could not realistically be putting even a dozen votes from the left at stake for the sake of Stupak and his allies.

One of those aides also speculated that even if they won a vote on the enrollment resolution, Stupak, Kaptur and the remaining holdouts would still have a difficult time voting for the reconciliation bill unless there was some guarantee that the Senate could pass it as well.

To that end, one version of the resolution apparently being discussed between Pelosi and Stupak would say that the Senate bill won't be considered as having passed in the House until the Senate sends a message to the House stating that it has also passed the Stupak resolution, according to a knowledgeable Democratic aide.

But that would seem to be a very heavy lift for the Senate -- and possibly even the House -- even under the best of circumstances.

In December, Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) offered an amendment to the Senate healthcare bill based on Stupak’s language, but 54 senators, including two Republicans -- Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe -- voted against it.

Not a problem. As dday says, "it’s clear the House cannot pass the health care bill without Bart Stupak. That tends to concentrate the mind."

So they'll break the Senate pro-choicers too. They know that if they don't vote against their own self-interest yet again, the whole liberal village will viciously turn on them in ways you can't even imagine. It's one thing for "principled" religious zealots to play hardball and sink this bill. It's quite another for irrelevant females to dream that they have the right to do such a thing for their own petty priorities. This just isn't an issue on which the president or any of the leadership are willing to hang tough. It's clear that the issue of choice is coming close to gun control or the death penalty in the Democratic party --- a lost cause.

Planned Parenthood has issued an emergency action. You can sign up here if you care about this at all.

If you really care, you'll help Connie Saltonstall take out Bart Stupak and end his reign of terror.

(And if anyone would like to run against Marcy Kaptur, let us know. I have no patience or respect left for this person. If Kildee thinks the Nelson Amendment is adequate then there's no reason that she couldn't have come over too. There's no excuse for her obstinacy.)