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Boehner to Obama: Why Don't You Invite Bart Stupak to the Health Care Summit?

3:07 PM, Feb 24, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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The Susan B. Anthony List notes that today John Boehner sent a letter to President Obama asking that Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak of Michigan be invited to tomorrow's health care summit. Stupak has taken the lead among pro-life Democrats in opposing taxpayer-funding of abortion in the health care bill.

President Obama pledged during his speech to a joint session of Congress in September that "no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions" in his health care plan. But right now there are multiple provisions in Obama's plan, which is based on the Senate bill, to provide public funding for abortion. If Obama wants to pass the bill, he'll either need the support of Stupak and other pro-life Democrats, or he'll need to flip 12 to 20 of the 39 Democrats who voted no the first time to vote yes now for a reconciliation bill.

Stupak talked about his opposition to Obama's plan on Fox News today. Watch it here.

Boehner's full letter after the jump:

February 24, 2010

 

President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500

 

Dear President Obama,

 

During legislative action on the House Democratic leadership’s health care legislation (H.R. 3200) last November, a majority of members of the House of Representatives voted in favor of a bipartisan amendment authored by Reps. Bart Stupak (D-MI) that would prohibit federal funding of abortion.  The Stupak amendment passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 240-194 and is part of the House-passed health care bill. 

 

As you know, the Stupak amendment is not included in the Senate version of the health care bill, nor in the new proposal you put forth earlier this week and designated as the starting point for the discussion that will take place at Blair House on February 25.  But public opinion surveys (including two recent surveys conducted by CNN and Quinnipiac University) consistently indicate that the Stupak amendment reflects the will of the American people. 

 

During the House floor debate on H.R. 3200, I individually questioned each of the Democratic committee chairmen with jurisdiction on health care issues to seek their assurances that the will of the House, as reflected by the support of a bipartisan majority for the Stupak amendment, would be preserved when a final health care bill is crafted by the Democratic majority in Washington.  None committed to working to ensure that the House position is preserved in a final health care bill.  These same majority committee chairmen will be representing the House in the February 25 summit.

 

On February 8, House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) and I wrote a letter to your chief of staff, Mr. Emanuel, posing a number of questions about the proposed February 25 summit.  Among the questions we asked was whether congressional Democrats who are opposed to the House or Senate versions of the health care bill would be invited to participate in the summit.  As of this writing, Mr. Emanuel has not responded to our letter, and the Democratic leadership in the House has not indicated any plans to include such members in the delegations they are sending to Blair House. 

 

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