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Bart Stupak Sells Out, Brings Unity to Health Care Debate

11:35 PM, Mar 21, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Bart Stupak said at his press conference this afternoon that an executive order signed by President Obama will accomplish what his amendment would have accomplished:

"All the safeguards we were looking for, the principle we fought for all these months, will be enforced through this exeuctive order. ... It's a good agreement."

Stupak said on Fox News this afternoon that the executive order will have "the full force and effect of law."

The problem with Stupak's statements is that they're not true--and no one on the right or the left believes them to be true, except for Bart Stupak and a few of his friends.

This is an odd moment of agreement in a debate over health care that's been filled with factual disputes.

National Right to Life Committee:

The executive order promised by President Obama was issued for political effect.  It changes nothing.  It does not correct any of the serious pro-abortion provisions in the bill.  The president cannot amend a bill by issuing an order, and the federal courts will enforce what the law says. 

Planned Parenthood:

"we are grateful that [the executive order] does not include the Stupak abortion ban."

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

The statutory mandate construed by the courts would override any executive order or regulation.  This is the unanimous view of our legal advisors and of the experts we have consulted on abortion jurisprudence.  Only a change in the law enacted by Congress, not an executive order, can begin to address this very serious problem in the legislation.

National Organization for Women:

"Through this order, the president has announced he will lend the weight of his office and the entire executive branch to the antiabortion measures included in the Senate bill" [emphasis added].

Anti-abortion Republican Rep. Joseph Cao:

"The executive order is not law; it can be changed by the next administration, it can be overturned by court order."

Pro-abortion Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette:

"[The executive order] doesn't change anything."

Andy McCarthy:

"This particuar EO is also a nullity — presidents cannot enact laws, the Supreme Court has said they cannot impound funds that Congress allocates, and (as a friend points out) the line-item veto has been held unconstitutional, so they can't use executive orders to strike provisions in a bill."

David Corn:

"Stupak deal is the biggest nothing-burger. No calories."

Jennifer Rubin:

"An executive order cannot countermand a statute passed by Congress and signed by the president. If ObamaCare says, 'We will subsidize abortion,' no executive order can effectively say, 'but not really.'"

Ezra Klein:

"Barack Obama will sign an executive order stating, essentially, that the law will follow the law."

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