Politico reported a couple hours ago that a deal has been reached between the White House and a group of anti-abortion Democrats, including Michigan Representative Bart Stupak, that would all but secure the passage of health-care reform. Problem is, no one seemed to tell Stupak about the deal. He just told reporters, “I’m a no vote. There is no agreement. Until there is an agreement I’m a no vote.” He also reiterated that he has eight votes that hinge on an agreement that satisfies him.
The Hill says if a deal can’t be made with Stupak, the bill will likely fail. Democrats can only afford 37 “no” votes, and as things stand now it appears there are 39 defectors. If all goes as planned and, let’s be honest, nothing in this process has, a full vote should be held around 6 p.m. tonight. Mr. Stupak, the ball is in your court.
Update 4:45: The White House and House Democratic leaders just announced that a deal has been reached to secure the support of Stupak and his minions. “We’re well past 216, yes,” Stupak said. The Michigan Democrat backed the bill after President Obama agreed to sign an executive order clarifying that it would not allow the use of federal money to pay for abortions.