"The Speaker is not happy with me," Stupak said.[# More #]
The Energy and Commerce subcommittee chairman said he has been working with Democratic leaders on a compromise, but they haven't been able to strike a deal. Stupak pointed out that he and Democratic leaders have a fundamental disagreement on whether health plans that receive subsidies from the government should be allowed to provide coverage options on abortions.
Stupak wants a vote on the House floor to strike the language, and predicts he would have the votes to pass such an amendment.
"This has been federal law since 1976," he said, noting that President Barack Obama has vowed not to allow healthcare reform to pay for abortions.
"We have to have a vote," he said.
If he doesn't get one, Stupak said he and as many as 39 other Democrats will vote no on a procedural motion to bring the health bill to the floor. A House vote on healthcare reform could be taken next week.I don't agree with Stupak on many issues, but I do agree that taxpayer funds should never go to fund abortions. I applaud his unrelenting support of this policy and respect him immensely for taking a stand on principle, not politics.
Stupak stressed he wants to vote for healthcare reform and is "still somewhat optimistic" that he will reach an accord with Democratic leaders.
However, the Michigan Democrat said he will not be backing down: "I'm comfortable with where I'm at. This is who I am. It's reflective of my district. If it costs me my seat, so be it."
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