Pelosi Likely to Allow Vote on Phony Abortion Compromise Ellsworth Amendment (Update)
9:55 AM, Nov 5, 2009 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
While the Stupak amendment would ban federal funding of elective abortions, it would allow people to purchase a separate rider to cover elective abortions.
Without the Stupak Amendment, H.R. 3962 would allow federal funding of all elective abortions for those on the public health insurance plan as well as those purchasing federally subsidized plans. Pelosi will likely allow a vote on phony compromise language introduced by Indiana Democrat Brad Ellsworth in order to give cover to pro-life Democrats to vote for the bill. The Ellsworth Amendment would still allow federal funding for all elective abortions for those on the public plan and federally subsidized plans, but it would require private contractors to handle the money. It reads:
Using private contractors hired by the federal government to handle the money does nothing to keep federal dollars from funding abortions. Imagine if a Republican were to say that "harsh interrogations" performed by Blackwater weren't federally funded since Blackwater is a private company. Everyone would, rightfully, laugh at that absurd claim.
Pelosi has claimed that abortion is already "out of the health care bill", but that's just not true. President Obama pledged that "no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions" through the health-care bill. So why won't Obama back the Stupak Amendment to do that?
Update 11:15a.m.: At a press conference that just concluded Speaker Pelosi said that no decisions have been made on what amendments will be allowed, but she sang Ellsworth's praises and seems likely to allow a vote on his amendment.
Clarification: The Ellsworth amendment may not get an up-or-down vote; it may be included by the Rules Committee in the final bill. An Ellsworth spokesman emails: "There are two possibilities I have heard discussed. It could be allowed as a stand-alone amendment on the floor, or it could be incorporated as self-executing language in the Rule. In other words, when the Rule passes, the amendment language is automatically adopted and does not require a separate vote."