is reporting this afternoon that Minnesota Rep. James Oberstar
has defected from Rep. Bart Stupak's band of pro-life Democrats opposed to the federal funding of abortions. Rep. Oberstar announced today he will support the final Obamacare bill:
"I wanted to see the language, understand it better, have conversations with Sen. Nelson," Oberstar said Wednesday. "On balance, it does what we need to do."
Whatever that means. I'm not sure which Nelson he was referring to--Bill (FL) or Ben (NE). Perhaps he needed to discuss ways to squeeze out perks from negotiations like the infamous "Cornhusker Kickback" with Nebraska's Sen. Ben Nelson.
Oberstar had previously been an ardent opponent of the House health care language and agreed to back the legislation only if stiff restrictions were added. So much for that idea...Update:
Another Stupak ally in the House has jumped ship and caved on the Senate bill's abortion language. Rep. Dale Kildee
, D-Mich., announced this afternoon that he's satisfied with the Senate-passed language.
Last fall, Rep. Kildee voted in favor of the House bill, and in his statement
said there were important reasons to support Obamacare:
“We must not lose sight of what is at stake here — the lives of 31 million American children, adults, and seniors who don’t have health insurance,” he said. “There is nothing more pro-life than protecting the lives of 31 million Americans. Voting for this bill in no way diminishes my pro-life voting record or undermines my beliefs. I am a staunch pro-life member of Congress — both for the born and the unborn.”
It's interesting to point out--as the American Spectator has--that many of the former-Stupak supporters have better voting records from a union perspective than from a pro-life one. Since Kildee's district includes Flint and its surrounding areas, union support has likely been a big pressure point on his vote in favor of Obamacare.