By Bob Cusack - 03/21/10 01:09 PM EDT
Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) said Sunday morning that he is close to striking a deal with the Obama administration on abortion provisions.
"We are close to getting something done," Stupak said in an interview with MSNBC.
The possible deal would focus on an executive order that would specify there would be no public funding for abortions in the healthcare bill.
"We're close but we're not there yet," Stupak said.
Democratic leaders said Sunday they have the votes on healthcare reform, but Stupak said until there is a deal struck, they don't have the 216 votes they need.
Stupak said "there were eight of us" in the negotiating room, all of them no votes.
Stupak said Saturday that there were "at least six" of his original dozen that were going to oppose the health bill. He said that he was "going to think about" what would need to be included
in an executive order to convince him that no federal dollars would go
toward funding abortion. 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.
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."
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 the bill.