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Is Bart Stupak Hinting He's About to Cave?

Hot Air links to an AP article that reports Bart Stupak believes he and the House leadership can come to an agreement on ObamaCare:

Prospects are good for resolving a dispute over abortion that has led some House Democrats to threaten to withhold support of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, a key Michigan Democrat said Monday.

Rep. Bart Stupak said he expects to resume talks with House leaders this week in a quest for wording that would impose no new limits on abortion rights but also would not allow use of federal money for the procedure.

"I'm more optimistic than I was a week ago," Stupak said in an interview between meetings with constituents in his northern Michigan district. He was hosting a town hall meeting Monday night at a local high school.

"The president says he doesn't want to expand or restrict current law (on abortion). Neither do I," Stupak said. "That's never been our position. So is there some language that we can agree on that hits both points -- we don't restrict, we don't expand abortion rights? I think we can get there."

Bart Stupak is the congressman for the eastern portion of northern lower Michigan and the UP. My husband and I own a canoe rental business and fly shop on the Au Sable River and have gotten to know northern lower Michigan well. Northern Michigan, while one of the most beautiful and storied parts of the country that I love dearly, is economically depressed, with a few exceptions such as the very wealthy towns of Harbor Springs, Petoskey, and maybe a few others. There is very little industry, so its economy is driven primarily by outdoor recreational tourism because of this part of the state's beautiful coastline, rivers, lakes, golf courses, and national and state parks.

With so much natural beauty and outdoor activities, you'd think the area is filled with naturalists and outdoor enthusiasts. It is, but you'd be surprised how many people who live in northern Michigan either work for or get subsidies from the government. Since so much of Stupak's district comprises of state and national parks, rivers, lakes, and shoreline, many of his constituents are federal and state employees who work for Michigan's Department of Natural Resources and its various agencies, the US Forest Service, the EPA, and other federal and state agencies that provide services to the districts poor rural populations. In addition to government employees, there are many people who live off of government largess as well. As I mentioned earlier, the economy is very weak so a lot of families receive subsidies from the government.

However, the majority of Stupak's constituents are very pro-life (which is why he keeps getting elected: he's pro-life, pro-gun, and pro-social entitlement programs), so if - and that's a big if - he can manage to finagle a deal of some sort with Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama that guarantees that abortion language he is satisfied with is included in the final bill that the president signs, then I'm certain Stupak will vote for ObamaCare.

I'm not sure if Stupak and the Democratic leadership can agree to something that is workable because animosity and distrust is rampant between Democrats in the House and Senate. As far as I'm concerned, I'd like to see Stupak and the other pro-life Democrats kill the bill, but I'm not sure he has the guts to do it.


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Comments (13)

He may fear the underside o... (Below threshold)

He may fear the underside of a bus?

If Stoopak caves to the Pel... (Below threshold)

If Stoopak caves to the Pelosi he will become the infamous joke of the House for the rest of career in elected office.

There is zero chance Stupak... (Below threshold)
gary gulrud:

There is zero chance Stupak will in fact get his fix signed into law. The fixes cannot reduce the deficit without the Senate bill first becoming law.

The Senate bill, if it passes, will be the end of the gambit for Reid and company.

Rep. Stupak can't really be... (Below threshold)

Rep. Stupak can't really believe they will not tell him a fib. He should not cave on this. Let us all pray he does not.

With more of his followers ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

With more of his followers coming out and saying that they won't vote for the bill as it stands I doubt he is signalling that he is going to cave.

I would take this as signaling that he thinks that Pelosi et al can find a way to accomodate his group and their concerns. How they think that they can alter the bill and pass it I don't know. I am assuming that they are selling him on some 2 bill strategy plus some kind of political payoff.

The thing that's surprising... (Below threshold)

The thing that's surprising me about all this is just how determined Obama is to pass this, despite the opposition and despite the future costs of this.

As I keep trying to point out - we're broke. We're not just broke, we're so broke we can't even pay attention. We're so broke it ain't even funny, and we're kiting checks all around the world. And somehow, we're going to be getting out of debt, turning the country around economically and increase employment by raising taxes so our ever-so-effective and efficient government can WASTE a lot of the money in internal costs and THEN pay out a pittance to insurance coumpanies?

Would someone kindly explain to me how we can take in $2 trillion in revenue a year, starting with $12 trillion in debt, then spend $3.6 trillion a year for the next friggin' DECADE (if not more) and be in better economic shape at the end of it?

'Cause by my figgerin', we're going to have (if revenues don't go up to incredibly unlikely levels) close to $28 TRILLION in debt at the end of that time.

And what does one trillion dollars look like?

I don't know about you, but the idea of government health care does not fill me with a warm and fuzzy contented feeling. Pelosi, Obama and Reid are asking a lot of people to go against the wishes of their constituencies, and those politicians are likely to see that displeasure in November.

The thing that'... (Below threshold)
The thing that's surprising me about all this is just how determined Obama is to pass this, despite the opposition and despite the future costs of this.
I don't think he has ever really grasped the concept of "future." When he was running for president, it obviously never occurred to him what might be expected of him if he won.

Hence, what we've been seeing for the last 14 months.

Is Stopak ready to cave? I ... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

Is Stopak ready to cave? I don't know, but his statement certainly makes it plain he has "a price".

Will Nancy pay that price? I suppose that depends on how close she is to having the requisite number of yes votes.

MaGehee, there's something about your statement about Obama's relationship to the concept of "future" that rings true to me. But I still wonder if this whole thing isn't about coming into office knowing there was only a limited amount of time before his true inclinations would be recognized and his window of opportunity for achieving items on his agenda would close down.

I don't think he has eve... (Below threshold)

I don't think he has ever really grasped the concept of "future."

Same here, McGehee. What happens AFTER he does something isn't important, results and ramifications aren't relevant. All you have to do is look at the wreckage he's left behind and the concept of his being politically knowledgeable becomes unbelieveable.

He doesn't care about consequences, all he cares about is getting his ego stroked for 'doing good deeds'. "Universal Health Care" is a 'good deed' he thinks he can do, so he's gonna friggin' DO it, whether it's wanted, whether it's affordable, or whether it even provides the benefits on the label or not.

Because it's not about US and what we want - it's about HIM. It's ALWAYS about him.

He belongs to a political p... (Below threshold)

He belongs to a political party that is a staunch advocate for killing babies. He has voted to give money to an abortion industry, planned parenthood.
His hold out is ONLY price.

this clown must have a burn... (Below threshold)

this clown must have a burning desire to be known as the ben nelson of the house of representatives.

What do you get when you cr... (Below threshold)

What do you get when you cross a Pro-life democrat and a leftist?

A leftist.

What do you get when you cross a feminist with a leftist?

A leftist.

What do you get when you cross an environmentalist with a leftist (redundant, I know)?

A leftist.

What do you get when you cross a (insert any supposedly principled liberal cause here) and a leftist?

A leftist.

Liberals/leftists don't have any principles beyond the principle of increasing their power over the rest of us.

Any and every public cause put forth by the left is simply a sham and is only used now as a weapon to bludgeon their political opponents.

That's why environmentalists never criticized the totalitarian communist regimes of Eastern Europe, China, former Soviet Union, etc for their horrendous environmental records.

That's why animal right's activists don't complain about PETA executing animals.

That's why a Sean Penn can, without any fear of being called out on it, call for the jailing of anyone who calls Chavez a dictator.

That's why feminists defend a Bill Clinton, and don't defend a Sarah Palin.

And that's why Bart Stupak, when it is all said and done, (along with all of the other "strong pro-life Blue Dogs"), will vote for this monstrosity of a bill which will forever codify and sanction the federal funding of abortions on demand for any reason at any point of pregnancy. Despite claiming for years that they would never do that.

It was all schtick.

It is now transparent.

The only question, will we have the will to vote out this crap with only 51 votes in the senate once Republicans control all levers of government again in 2013?

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), wh... (Below threshold)

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), who earlier this week said he is optimistic there will be a compromise on abortion language in the health care bill, told the Weekly Standard yesterday that there is no such deal -- not even close.

"Everyone's going around saying there's a compromise -- there's no such thing," Stupak said. He said that "the majority party can get [a deal] done," but "no one has said here's how you do it, here's the legislative scheme."

He did say he had his first real meeting with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) about the language.

Asked if his "optimistic" comment meant he would cave and vote for a bill that doesn't include his preferred abortion language, Stupak said "Obviously they don't know me."

"If I didn't" cave in November, "why would I do it now after all the crap I've been through?" he added.

Stupak, who has threatened to vote no along with 12 other unnamed congressmen over abortion, said he refuses to vote for the Senate bill as-is, even with a promise to fix it later.

"If they say 'we'll give you a letter saying we'll take care of this later,' that's not acceptable because later never comes," he said.






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