Clyburn predicts Stupak will support bill

Leading pro-life Democrat Rep. Bart Stupak (Mich.) will end up voting for healthcare reform legislation, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) predicted today.

Stupak has led a group of pro-life Democrats who are vowing to oppose healthcare reform if stricter restrictions on abortion funding are not added.

Clyburn said he was confident that the legislation will meet Stupak's demands.

ADVERTISEMENT
"There will be no federal funds for abortion," he told NBC's Meet the Press. "And I think that most people that look at this have now come to that conclusion. And I do believe that Congressman Stupak will end up voting for this bill because I think he's going to be very comfortable with it in the coming days."

That may be news to Stupak, whose most recent comments were decidedly pessimistic.

"I am a definite 'no' vote,” he told National Review Online. "I didn’t cave. The others are having both of their arms twisted, and we’re all getting pounded by our traditional Democratic supporters, like unions."

Stupak said the Democratic leadership had given up on winning his support.

"They’re ignoring me,” he said. “That’s their strategy now. The House Democratic leaders think they have the votes to pass the Senate’s health-care bill without us."

The anti-abortion language in the Senate bill, which the House must vote on in identical form, is less restrictive than the language Stupak had succesfully added to the previous House-passed bill. Though Stupak has repeatedly said the Senate version is unacceptable, Clyburn's comments suggests he thinks Stupak will end up supporting it

Many Democrats are doubtful that the abortion provisions can be changed through the package of "fixes" that the Senate is pledging to pass through reconciliation.