Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), who has organized a group of about 40 Democrats who are committed to killing the health care bill if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) does not give them a straight up-or down vote on an amendment that would prohibit federal dollars from paying for any part of any health insurance plan that covers abortions, told CNSNews.com today that he has not reached an agreement with the speaker and that his group is still poised to kill the bill.
Stupak and his approximately 40 allies plan to vote against the special "rule" that would govern the terms of the House floor debate on the health care bill. If this rule does not win a majority vote, the House cannot proceed to consideration of the bill itself. Stupak has said he believes he has enough votes to defeat the rule if Speaker Pelosi does not relent. The vote on the rule is likey to occur late Friday afternoon or Friday evening.
"I will continue to oppose, and will continue whipping my colleagues to oppose, bringing the bill to the floor for a vote until there is satisfactory language to prevent public funding for abortion," Stupak told CNSNews.com in a statement on Thursday.
A senior aide in Stupak's office told CNSNews.com, "Right now, the group of those pro-life Dems are holding together pretty well. The coalition is standing strong behind Congressman Stupak." The group is committed to killing the bill if the Stupak amendment is not allowed a vote, the aide said.