Stupak: I have votes to defeat health bill

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) pledged on Tuesday morning to defeat healthcare reform legislation if his abortion amendment is taken out, saying 10 to 20 anti-abortion-rights Democrats would vote against a bill with weaker language.

"They’re not going to take it out," Stupak said on "Fox and Friends," referring to Senate Democrats. "If they do, healthcare will not move forward."

Stupak's amendment prohibits any insurance plan on a potential healthcare exchange from accepting federal subsidies if it covers abortion. Pro-abortion-rights lawmakers say that language is too broad and would drastically reduce access to abortion.

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White House senior adviser David Axelrod said over the weekend that he expected Stupak's language to be "adjusted."

Stupak disagreed.

"We won fair and square," Stupak said of the House vote. "[T]hat is why Mr. Axelrod is not a legislator — he doesn’t really know what he is talking about."


The Michigan Democrat said he has enough votes to take down the whole bill if his amendment is replaced with a weaker version.

"If they strip our language … they keep the Capps amendment. At least 10 to 15 to 20 of us will not vote for it," he said, referring to an amendment offered by pro-choice Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.).

The healthcare bill passed the House by five votes. Stupak's 10 to 20 votes would be enough to defeat the bill, unless some Democrats who originally voted "no" changed position.

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