By Molly K. Hooper - 03/20/10 07:43 PM EDT
Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) says that "at least six" of his original "dozen" members are standing firmly against the Senate healthcare bill.
Following a 20-minute huddle on the House floor with a handful of the holdouts, Stupak told reporters that he has "not seen an executive order" that would have President Barack Obama ensure that federal funds would not go toward abortions so would not rule out supporting it.
Further, Stupak said that he had not talked to the White House about such an executive order.
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) confirmed Stupak's whip count of at least six holdouts.
The group met on the House floor as the presiding officer gaveled to recess while the president addressed Democratic lawmakers in the Captiol Visitors Center.
But, Stupak, Kaptur, Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper ( D-Pa.), Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-Ohio), Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W.V.) and Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.V.) continued to discuss the recent talk of an executive order.
In an interview with The Hill, Kaptur said that an executive order "could be helpful, depending on what's in it."
But, not having talked with the White House about such an action, she said, "I don't really know how real that is."
The Pro-Choice Caucus was livid Friday night after learning that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had been in talks with Stupak over whether a provision regarding abortion funding would be included in the bill. On Saturday, Pelosi said that she wouldn’t allow votes on any of the side deals – including abortion – that members were seeking in exchange for their votes for healthcare legislation.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters Saturday that he was
"hopeful" that an executive order, under discussion by leaders on
abortion, will persuade a majority of "pro-life" Democrats to vote for