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House defeats GOP motion to revive abortion issue

By Ben Pershing
The House rejected Republicans' last procedural shot at derailing health-reform Sunday, defeating a GOP motion designed to split Democrats on abortion.

The Republican "motion to recommit" would have sent the package of reconciliation fixes back to committee with instructions to add the antiabortion language previously promoted by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and included in the original House bill. The measure failed, 199 to 232, with 21 Democrats crossing the aisle to vote with the GOP -- 13 fewer than had just voted with Republicans on the Senate health bill.

Stupak and a coalition of antiabortion Democrats struck a deal with party leaders and the White House on Sunday on an executive order reaffirming that federal funds would not be spent on abortion, clearing the way for those lawmakers to vote "aye" on the Senate health bill and the package of "fixes."

Because of that agreement, many antiabortion Democrats were not persuaded to cross the aisle and support the Republican motion.

"This motion does not promote life," Stupak said during debate, arguing that Democrats' reform bill would improve the lives of everyone from babies to the elderly.

GOP leaders did not expect the motion to recommit to pass. But the exercise still has value for the minority, which typically uses such motions on the campaign trail to accuse vulnerable members of the majority of voting against popular items.

By Ben Pershing  |  March 21, 2010; 11:29 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Capitol Briefing , Health Care  
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Posted by: tastytone|March 22, 2010 3:37AM
" the pro-life movement ticked off because they didn't get to pull a fast one and further restrict abortions?"
You hit the nail on the head!

Posted by: schnauzer21 | March 22, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

This whole abortion kerfuffle was always a red herring. It's telling that the GOP's last ditch "divide and conquer" tactic actually lost votes from the prior and latter vote tallies.

I keep wondering why they never, in this whole year, made any actual honest arguments in this debate, but depended almost entirely on fallacious and specious tactics designed entirely for political gain. It was ever a game to them, not an actual issue with real life consequences.

Posted by: HartWms | March 22, 2010 3:53 AM | Report abuse

One American (children, veteran, or unfortunate) were dying every twelve minutes because of no health care. Thank you Democrats for listening and making the obtainable health care a reality in process.

Posted by: RedFeather | March 22, 2010 3:47 AM | Report abuse

The bill, executive order or not, does not slacken or strengthen any abortion laws in this country. I don't get the pro-life movement ticked off because they didn't get to pull a fast one and further restrict abortions?

Posted by: tastytone | March 22, 2010 3:37 AM | Report abuse

The results of this health care decision will be horrible.

Posted by: servant119b | March 22, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

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