In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Are Democrats Really Scrapping Abortion Negotiations With Stupak?

Newscom / Ron Sachs

Clearly abortion discussions are at a bit of an impasse. Leadership has almost no leeway to accommodate changes to the Senate health care bill's abortion provision, and Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI)--the pro-life congressman who's threatening to walk away from health care reform unless his demands are met--hasn't backed down. But here's what Waxman told reporters this morning outside a meeting of the Democratic caucus.

"[Stupak]'s a member of my committee and a friend of mine and we're continuing to talk, he and I," Waxman said.

But most members feel that the abortion issue was dealt with in the Senate-passed bill....

Ironically, what we have is a situation on abortion which neither side is now particularly happy about and so I don't now how we'll resolve it but we'll keep looking....

We just have to all stay open and keep talking until we see where we end up....

There are many people who share his views who are voting for this bill. They feel strongly about the pro-life position but they feel like the Senate bill encompasses a compromise that they can accept in this legislation and they're willing to go forward with it. There are some who take a different view and we hope to convince them to join us and they hope to us to make them concessions.

Emphasis mine.

Obviously it's possible that Democratic leaders will tell Stupak to take it or leave it. But it doesn't seem like that's happened yet.

About The Author


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at