Hoyer: I’m Not Negotiating On Abortion Provisions in Health Care Bill

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March 12, 2010 5:42 a.m.

TPM’s Brian Beutler reports from Capitol Hill that House Democrats are moving forward on health care with or without prolife Rep. Bart Stupak and the dozen lawmakers he might get to attempt to block the bill.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters this morning that Democrats “have not discussed a third way” and that when he spoke with Stupak (D-MI) about the abortion provisions he wants in the measure, “I made it clear that I wasn’t negotiating.”

“We don’t want to go without their votes, but we do want to forge ahead, and as you know Mr. Stupak has made it very very clear that he’s very strongly in favor of achieving health care in this Congress. And I think that a lot of his colleagues feel the same way,” Hoyer said.The majority leader said that as Congress nears a final vote it’s clear the abortion provisions Stupak wants inserted into the health care legislation can’t be addressed in the budget reconciliation bill that House Democrats need to pass.

Asked if the case was closed, Hoyer said: “We’ll have to deal with that pretty much as it is at this point in time.”

Last night on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she’s confident Stupak won’t try to sink the bill.

“And those who want the bill to fail hijack the good intentions of others who have concerns about the federal funding of abortion,” she said.

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