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Dems: Leadership Is Telling Members They Have The Votes--But Abortion Still Threatens The Bill

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Newscom

Complicating the leadership's account, of course, is that there's still no agreed-upon way around the abortion impasse. The White House is acting in the role of shuttle diplomat between pro-choice and anti-abortion Democrats over the precise wording of an executive order, which President Obama would issue upon signing the health care bill tonight. But neither side has agreed to the White House's proposed language.

Just off the House floor this afternoon, Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO)--leader of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus--told reporters "the White House showed us and Mr. Stupak's people a draft at the same time," while the two factions sat in separate rooms in the Speaker's office this morning.

The White House has taken comments from both sides on that initial language and will present them a final version later today.

About The Author

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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 brian@talkingpointsmemo.com