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The Stupak 12

March 8, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Rep. Bart Stupak [D, MI-1] is threatening to keep the House from passing the Senate health care bill (H.R. 3590) and potentially sink the whole health care reform process unless its language regarding abortion is amended to match the language he added to the House health care bill. The Senate bill already blocks federal funding from going towards abortion services, but Stupak wants it to prevent anyone buying insurance through the new Exchanges from purchasing a plan that covers elective abortions, even if they are buying the insurance plan entirely with their own money.

Stupak says that he has 11 Democrats who will vote “no” with him on the Senate bill if the abortion language isn’t changed. That’s enough to sink the bill.The names of the “Stupak 12” haven’t been released, but Brian Beutler of TPM has whittled down various roll call and whip lists to produce a list that seems like it could be pretty accurate:

These eleven, plus Stupak, have the Democrats in a real bind. The Senate bill can’t be changed without requiring the Senate to take another vote on it, and the Democrats wouldn’t be able to overcome another Republican filibuster in the Senate now that they have only 59 votes. Sixty votes are needed to defeat a filibuster. They also can’t change the abortion language through the budget reconciliation process, which doesn’t allow for a Republican filibuster, but also don’t allow for any language that is not relevant to the budget.  

12 donuts pic used under CC license by iirraa.

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