Breaking news tonight:
It's about 1:45am Saturday morning as I write this but it is now official. The Rules Committee is going to allow Pro-Life members of Congress to offer an amendment to the healthcare reform bill on the House floor that would clearly and plainly state that there can be no funding for abortion and no government subsidies for plans that cover abortion.
This "Hyde Amendment" type of language will indeed be brought to the House floor for a vote. The vote would require a simple majority (218 votes) not two-thirds as is sometimes the case.
This amendment will have quite a few names on it but it is basically the Stupak-Pitts language that was voted down in committee a few months ago. (though it's not an exact carbon copy) This amendment offered in the Rules Committee tonight is the Stupak-Ellsworth-Pitts Amendment. Through long negotiations tonight with Democratic House leadership, Pro-Life Democrats Bart Stupak and Brad Ellsworth along with Pro-Life Republican Joe Pitts were able to make some progress and they will now get the vote they have always wanted... and quite frankly the entire pro-life community has wanted from the start. If this vote becomes reality, it would be a big victory for the pro-life community. This language has a very good chance of passing if the Pro-Life Democrats join with all Republicans to pass it. Don't expect pro-life Republicans to vote for the final healthcare reform bill but the pro-life Democrats will probably do so which means healthcare reform should pass the house but probably WITHOUT the abortion language liberals wanted.
Among the people inside the Speaker's office tonight were Bart Stupak, Brad Ellsworth, Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The Brody File has the amendment that is being debated in the Rules Committee tonight: Read it below:
AMENDMENT TO H.R. llllllll, AS
OFFERED BY MR. STUPAK OF MICHIGAN
(Amendment is to H.R. 3962, As Proposed to be Amended by
Mr. Dingell’s Amendment)
Page 97, strike line 13 and all that follows through
page 98, line 7.
Page 110, strike lines 1 through 7.
Page 114, line 21, strike ‘‘consistent with subsection
(e) of such section’’.
Page 118, line 21, strike ‘‘(including subsection
Page 154, after line 18, insert the following new section (and conform the table of contents of division A accordingly):
1 SEC. 265. LIMITATION ON ABORTION FUNDING.
(a) IN GENERAL.—No funds authorized or appro3 priated by this Act (or an amendment made by this Act)
4 may be used to pay for any abortion or to cover any part
5 of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of
6 abortion, except in the case where a woman suffers from
7 a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that
would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including
a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising
from the pregnancy itself, or unless the pregnancy is the
result of an act of rape or incest.
(b) OPTION TO PURCHASE SEPARATE SUPPLEMENTAL COVERAGE OR PLAN.—Nothing in this section
shall be construed as prohibiting any nonfederal entity (including an individual or a State or local government) from
purchasing separate supplemental coverage for abortions
for which funding is prohibited under this section, or a
plan that includes such abortions, so long as—
(1) such coverage or plan is paid for entirely
using only funds not authorized or appropriated by
this Act; and
(2) such coverage or plan is not purchased
using nonfederal funds required to receive a federal
payment, including a State’s or locality’s contribution of Medicaid matching funds.
(c) OPTION TO OFFER SEPARATE SUPPLEMENTAL
COVERAGE OR PLAN.—Notwithstanding section 303(b),
nothing in this section shall restrict any nonfederal QHBP
offering entity from offering separate supplemental coverage for abortions for which funding is prohibited under
1 this section, or a plan that includes such abortions, so long
(1) premiums for such separate supplemental
4 coverage or plan are paid for entirely with funds not Click here to see the language of the Stupak/Pitts Amendment from earlier this summer in committee.
5 authorized or appropriated by this Act;
6 (2) administrative costs and all services offered
7 through such supplemental coverage or plan are paid
8 for using only premiums collected for such coverage
9 or plan; and
10 (3) any nonfederal QHBP offering entity that
11 offers an Exchange-participating health benefits
12 plan that includes coverage for abortions for which
13 funding is prohibited under this section also offers
14 an Exchange-participating health benefits plan that
15 is identical in every respect except that it does not
16 cover abortions for which funding is prohibited
17 under this section.
Page 171, strike line 5 and all that follows through
page 172, line 8.
Page 182, line 22, strike ‘‘willingness or’’.
Page 246, strike lines 11 through 14.