Obama Executive Order Preventing Abortion Funding May Sub for Stupak

A new deal seems to be in the works on abortion and the health care bill. It's mostly on Twitter. Seems President Obama is considering issuing an executive order to prevent funding of abortions -- rather than including it in the bill.

Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) says acceptance depends on the details. Evan Glass at CNN reports "Pro-choice Dem women are giving the green light for Obama to sign an executive order reaffirming no fed $ for abortion"

So what's the executive order going to say? According to Glass, "Democrats are 7 "no" votes shy of the 216 needed to defeat the bill." Meaning they only can afford to lose 7 votes?

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    This is just so disgusting... (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by masslib on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 01:41:39 PM EST
    I have to chuckle at the thousand feminists for Obama.

    I hope those "pro-choice Dem women" (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Cream City on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 01:47:18 PM EST
    -- whoever they are, and however many they are who presume to speak for millions of pro-choice Dem women -- are getting in writing what Obama would put in writing before they give him that green light, considering some of his past comments about husbands and ministers and more.

    This somehow sounds like Progressives' bargaining, and we know how good they have been at that.  They don't even know how to turn on a yellow light to slow down, much less a red light to stop all the sops to anti-choice, anti-women's rights "Dems."

    Is there an exectutive order on abortion (5.00 / 5) (#3)
    by masslib on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 01:53:15 PM EST
    from the Democratic President that you are good with?  The Senate bill is already a gross injustice to women, so I can't imagine what executive order that pleases the Stupakers would be acceptable.  Frankly, I don't want a Democratic President issuing any anti-abortion executive orders at all.

    Democrats (5.00 / 5) (#4)
    by waldenpond on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 02:02:08 PM EST
    are doing what the Repubs could never get done.  Could you imagine if Bush did an abortion executive order?  Obama does this, the next Repub will.  Obama may give an executive order that reaffirms Hyde.

    To satisfy Stupak, the executive (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 02:03:19 PM EST
    order would have to be Stupak/Pitts amendment.

    The mind just reels. (5.00 / 8) (#10)
    by Anne on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 02:19:11 PM EST
    An executive order would give the Dems the ability to claim that they are not responsible for Stupak/Pitts being the law of the land; they aren't pulling the trigger, just subcontracting out the dirty work to the president, who seems a little too happy to accommodate.  Guess his silence on the whole issue really did say just what I though it did.

    Well, ironclad alibi or not, they are, in my opinion, just as responsible as if they did it themselves, because the results are the same.

    What a legacy; shining moments all around.


    Maybe the promise will be as good as the FISA (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 02:30:16 PM EST
    promise. One really never quite knows what to expect.

    But, if he made the promise, and keeps it, there should be no doubt left in anyone's mind as to why so many are simply unable to get on board with this administration.


    One difference. (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by mentaldebris on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 04:41:32 PM EST
    The FISA promise was made to liberals and progressives. This promise would be made to conservatives/Blue Dogs.  

    With a track record like Obama's, I'd bank on this promise being fulfilled before I'd bank on any promise made to progressives/liberals fulfilled.


    Ahhhh.... (none / 0) (#58)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 05:55:08 PM EST
    I thought the promises were to the voters.

    I thought the pressure (none / 0) (#65)
    by mentaldebris on Sun Mar 21, 2010 at 01:52:19 AM EST
    to keep the promise was coming from the left. Maybe I'm remembering it wrong.  

    So many promises, so little time to keep track of their origins and their fates.


    They couldn't (none / 0) (#66)
    by Socraticsilence on Sun Mar 21, 2010 at 11:23:18 PM EST
    you can control federal funding by executive order, but there's absolutely no way the president could outlaw abortion via one- it'd be a massive violation of the seperation of powers.

    I agree; I really don't like this (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by Cream City on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 02:04:58 PM EST
    compromise for so many reasons.  (For one, I don't like executive orders, and I seem to recall that those who voted for Obama liked his statement that he would not go that route as his predecessor did.)

    I considered saying that as long as he only reiterated the Hyde Amendment . . . but I think that is not acceptable, as that would give that abominable amendment more power, wouldn't it?

    And you may have caught that I really, really don't like this sweeping statement that "pro-choice Dem women" are agreeing to this.  There are millions of women who are so described, and there really is no one to speak for them now who is talking to him and whom I trust, after what we have seen. . . .


    Yes, agreed. (none / 0) (#7)
    by masslib on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 02:10:34 PM EST
    That's why I think the answer is just say no to the executive order.  I would bet money come reelection time, to please the Bob Casey voter set, we would hear little mentions from Camp Obama about how he had signed this exec. order, and that would just sicken me.

    I just did say no -- I just got polled (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Cream City on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 02:29:59 PM EST
    about the HCR bill and attendant compromises in the works (as well as other matters re coming Senate and gubernatorial races in my state).

    I feel a bit better after getting to push the button to say no for myself, even knowing that my  cowards in Congress will push the yes button there.

    (The cowards include the leading "Progressive" who promised me, in person and in a public forum, that he would really, really hard for the public option -- and never would allow anything like the Stupak stipulations.  Lies, lies, and more lies.)


    Are you watching him speak (none / 0) (#20)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:16:08 PM EST
    to the Dems right now on C-Span?

    It's as though he has no idea what is in the bill.


    Can you be specific? (none / 0) (#23)
    by observed on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:25:39 PM EST
    Honestly, it's awfully hard to keep track!
    And there isn't even a final bill!

    Same old, same old. Be reassured (none / 0) (#27)
    by Cream City on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:35:41 PM EST
    by your president, for example, that you will have the same health care coverage that you did before, apparently even if you have lady parts.  Yeh, sure.  And it will save you money, or it will save someone money, or something, for a bargain price of only $940 billion or something.

    It will save you money relative (none / 0) (#30)
    by observed on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:39:01 PM EST
    to the projected cost increases without the bill is what he means, right?
    I'm actually curious about this. It seems to me that the bill may have been driving up  insurance rates already. Are rate increases especially high this year? It seems that way to me.
    I don't know why the insurance companies won't jack up their rates to the sky to get ready  for the new mandated customers in 2014, with the result being that rates may end up higher than previously projected.

    Of course. No cost controls (none / 0) (#32)
    by Cream City on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:44:51 PM EST
    in the bill, not effectively, from what I see.

    Yes, my rates -- in the largest employee group in my state -- are going up again, we are told.  And going up a lot, after years of doing so already, and in these years not only of no raises but of pay cuts.  So our pay cut that was supposed to be about 3 percent already has meant a reduction in take-home pay of at least 5% with increased rates for insurance last year, and now we are to expect an effective reduction of at least 10 percent with the coming increases in health insurance.

    That tells me that this so called reform bill is cr*p even on an economic basis, and at an untold cost of more of the rights of the majority of Americans with the Stupak compromises to come.


    Doesn't he sound convincing though? (none / 0) (#24)
    by observed on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:27:02 PM EST
    He's been energized and positive in the clips I've seen---like a jewelry salesman who is grinning from ear to ear as he gives you the very best deal, much better than he gives anyone else, but which is really at 70% markup.

    I agree this sucks (none / 0) (#18)
    by cenobite on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:06:14 PM EST
    But I'm pretty sure that CNN meant "pro-choice Dem women [in Congress]".

    Oh, probably so, but why (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Cream City on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:09:36 PM EST
    ought we have to translate sloppy journalism, again and again?  But as you may have the secret CNN decoder ring, do you really think CNN talked to every one of them?  Or just to one or a few who claimed to even speak for all of the pro-choice Dem women in Congress, both houses?  Have they had a separate meeting, per CNN, all of them in one room?  Or ?

    Well, it was a tweet, wasn't it? (none / 0) (#22)
    by cenobite on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:20:35 PM EST
    Which limits you to something like 140 characters?

    I'm figuring CNN talked to the members of the pro-choice caucus that met with Pelosi, Diana DeGette and a couple of others.


    Exactly. And blogging about tweets (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Cream City on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:32:57 PM EST
    is the low point to which journalism and this country have come in this great new era of advanced communication technologies.  More theories about communication as crucial to democracy come crashing down, disproved with every twit reporting by tweet.

    Maybe Obama will sweeten the deal (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Spamlet on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 02:10:57 PM EST
    by also repealing DADT in the same executive order.


    Yes (none / 0) (#9)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 02:15:38 PM EST
    So what's the executive order going to say? According to Glass, "Democrats are 7 "no" votes shy of the 216 needed to defeat the bill." Meaning they only can afford to lose 7 votes?

    If he's correct, then yes, it is that close.

    From CNN, this shows that there are currently 31 on the record no votes.  38 are needed to kill the bill, with 20 important undecided.

    Obama coming to Dem caucus today (none / 0) (#11)
    by Cream City on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 02:21:45 PM EST
    and any minute now means that they still don't have the votes.

    Not so (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:53:42 PM EST
    His visit with the caucus has been on the schedule for quite some time.

    Unless something really strange happens at the last minute, like some GOP dirty tricks, it's really not in question that this bill is going to pass.  Pelosi knows what she's doing.

    With a difficult bill like this, every Speaker has a bunch of votes in the pocket "If you really, really need me."  She had them with the original bill, too.  She's got enough votes to pass with those "need me" votes if necessary, but she's working to get enough of the genuinely undecideds that she can let as many of the "need me" votes off the hook as possible.

    If she's doing her job right, and there's every reason to think she is, this will pass with a one or two-vote margin, just like the original, letting those who feel they need to vote against for political survival do so.


    Can't have been "quite some time" (none / 0) (#43)
    by Cream City on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 04:04:26 PM EST
    since he was supposed to be in Asia now, so I hear.

    Let me be more specific then (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 04:11:03 PM EST
    and spell it out better.  It has been part of the plan for, yes, quite some time that Obama would give a pep rally to the Dem. caucus the day before they vote.  This was the case before they had more than a very vague idea of when they would schedule it.

    OK now?


    Sure, got it. He really wasn't needed (2.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Cream City on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 04:22:01 PM EST
    and might as well have headed to Indonesia.

    Sorry (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 06:17:05 PM EST
    I forgot your rules.  Only toxic negativity allowed, no reality-based analysis.

    Really, it's so sad. Sometimes (1.00 / 1) (#64)
    by Cream City on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 06:48:32 PM EST
    your comments are so good.  But sometimes, you just can't handle it.  I'll go away again and wait for the good times to return.

    He probably would have been back by (none / 0) (#45)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 04:08:18 PM EST
    today. The girls only get one week off school.

    He was to leave two days ago. (none / 0) (#49)
    by Cream City on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 04:21:23 PM EST
    So I'm guessing that the girls would have missed school next week.  

    Then he was to leave tomorrow, without the girls.

    Whatever, I find the attempts here quite funny in diminishing how badly Obama was needed today.  To read some commenters here, he might as well have headed to Asia two days ago, anyway, not only with his family but with the entire White House staff.


    I'm sure you're right.... (none / 0) (#56)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 05:49:37 PM EST
    I probably have my weeks mixed up :)

    Look at Matheson (none / 0) (#52)
    by MKS on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 04:23:55 PM EST
    from Utah.....He could be one of the fail safe votes.....He would like to vote against the bill if possible.

    Matheson comes from a Democratic family--his father being a three term Democratic Governor of Utah....His brother was named U.S. attorney for Utah by Bill and has been nominated for the 10th Circuit by Obama.  Darrell Issa a Republican Member of the House from California (and Oculus's rep, iirc) has said he thinks there may be an illegal quid pro quo on health care going on and has asked for an investigation.....But the Utah Republicans have said nothing of the kind, as the Mathesons are respected there by the Republicans.......

    Matheson should be safe on re-election day.  He won in 2008 by almost 30 points (he represents liberal Salt Lake City proper and some of the conservative suburbs) and is well-liked personally by even conservatives.  He could get swamped in a conservative tidal wave, however...

    So, if Matheson says he will vote "No," I would paradoxically take that as a good sign that Pelosi does not need his vote....The longer he stays on the fence, the closer this vote will be.....


    CNN just reported Matheson is now a No (none / 0) (#60)
    by MKS on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 06:07:25 PM EST
    He was undecided for a long, long time.....So, we'll see.....I think this means they have the votes.....  

    Space (D-OH) is a no also (none / 0) (#63)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 06:32:44 PM EST
    "Save my Presidency by passing this (none / 0) (#17)
    by observed on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 02:59:38 PM EST
    horrible bill, so that I can pass other progressive legislation. You know you want it!"

    How can Obama do that? (none / 0) (#12)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 02:26:06 PM EST
    I mean doesn't the Constitution say that spending and taxing must originate in the House?

    We're living under the (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 02:33:32 PM EST
    "New Constitution" now: Make up the rules as you go...no one should be too surprised.

    Hyde is the law of the land (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:37:52 PM EST
    Any executive order can only reinforce that-- needlessly.

    This whole abortion brouhaha has been pointless from the get-go.  Hyde prohibits federal $$ going to abortion.  Period.  End of story.

    Obama cannot change the language of the Senate bill by executive order.  Absent further legislative action, the Nelson language will prevail.

    I suspect what's happened here is that Stupak has finally been convinced he's been misreading the legislation from the get-go, but he's painted himself into such a corner, he can't turn around and admit it, so he's got to have something else to point to.


    Well (none / 0) (#14)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 02:30:07 PM EST
    this would be an executive order to prevent spending, right?

    So the Executive Order (none / 0) (#25)
    by MKS on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:28:00 PM EST
    would be unenforceable and meaningless?

    A very interesting turn of events.....and what would the Order say?


    The Stupak side will cave (none / 0) (#21)
    by MKS on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:19:24 PM EST
    They are just angling for the best deal possible....

    The key players are the pro choice Representatives--if they say no way, then Pelosi can make Stupak heel.  She may need to give him a face saving fig leaf, and that may be what the Executive Order is...

    Somebody is going to get rolled.....and it may or may not be Stupak.....If it is the pro-choice side, then it could be the fault of the pro-choice Reps who met with Pelosi--they should have told her no way, no how were they going to allow a further restriction on abortion.

    But, then again, since an Executive Order is outside the legislation, they could be presented a clean bill and still be rolled by later Executive Order.  But they can't really vote against a clean bill because of something outside the bill that might be done by the White House later.....

    Looks like it could be like the removal of outdated missiles from Turkey during the Cuban Missile Crisis....  

    A great analogy. (5.00 / 0) (#28)
    by Cream City on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:37:37 PM EST
    But it makes me wish that just one of those pro-choice Dem women would do a Nikita Kruschev, taking off a shoe to pound a high heel on a table -- even if only for show, too.

    On abortion rights, they have to draw (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by MKS on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:51:12 PM EST
    a line in the sand.....which should be no big deal and something that can be won.

    Pelosi and Obama need to tell Stupak that they have no choice, that the pro-choice caucus are beyond adamant.....and are unreasonable.  But they need the pro-choice side to give them this ammunition.

    Banging the shoe works.....Some of the best negotiators I've seen are the best BSers of all time....A little razzle dazzle for emphasis....


    I think so, too (none / 0) (#31)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:43:26 PM EST
    I've heard Stupak interviewed at length several times on Fox over the last couple of weeks, and last night he sounded totally beaten down and ready to cave to me if he gets some sort of fig leaf.  Don't know whether he's gotten new polling from back home or what, but he was nearly in tears over wanting health care/insurance reform.

    But as I understand it, Obama cannot change the legislative language, which will be the Nelson language, by executive order.  He doesn't even need to because even Nelson is unnecessary on top of Hyde.  Why the anti-abortion crowd in the House got themselves so tied up in knots over this instead of having confidence in Hyde is really beyond me.  (I actually suspect it may have come from a sub rosa GOP campaign of whispering in their ears to raise doubts.)


    I think you are right about the reason - (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by ruffian on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 04:18:45 PM EST
    GOP'ers told them they would be using it as an election issue, valid or not, and they panicked. I'm only surprised they are not also insisting on a 'no death panels' amendment or exec order.

    I tend to agree that given the fact of Hyde, Stupak and the Senate abortion language have no practical implications, but then I think about the 'two check' requirement in the Senate bill. Would Hyde already mandate 'two checks' for someone that is getting federal aid to buy insurance, rather than health care itself?  Probably so, but I'm not sure.

    Even if it is all optics, I hate the idea of this exec order. Sets even the optics of the pro-choice fight waaay back IMHO.


    But an executive order, even (none / 0) (#33)
    by Cream City on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:47:06 PM EST
    if only reiterating the Hyde Amendment, undergirds that law, I think.  Hyde has to be reiterated by Congress on a regular basis, right?  So even if its end could be accomplished by Congress, the exec order still would stand.  I don't like it.

    Correct (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Spamlet on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 04:05:06 PM EST
    Hyde has to be reiterated by Congress on a regular basis, right?

    As I understand it, the Hyde Amendment's "law of the land" permanence is illusory and could be revealed as such at any time, though parties on both sides of the aisle have vested interests in not making that revelation.


    though if we couldn't get (none / 0) (#67)
    by Socraticsilence on Sun Mar 21, 2010 at 11:25:59 PM EST
    Hyde knocked off in the 2009 or 2010 budgets its honestly hard to imagine the circumstances which would make doing so possible.

    Technically, sure (none / 0) (#39)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:57:04 PM EST
    I guess.  Although as far as I know, Hyde does not have to be re-legislated.  I don't like any reiteration of it, either.  I'm just saying it doesn't have any practical effect on the situation as it stands now (and long into the future, IMHO), and that it represents a step back from Stupak madness. IOW, he's willing to cave for nothing more than symbolism.

    Sure they can (none / 0) (#34)
    by waldenpond on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:47:32 PM EST
    ...vote against a bill that they know the White House is going to modify.  Of course they can.  Stupak can vote for the bill based on the promise from the White House that they will curtail women's rights to access health care and the pro-choice Dems can get a promise that the White House will do no more than reaffirm Hyde.  Let's see which side our center-right President comes down on.

    The pro-choice Dems abdicated their power when they voted for a bill with the Stupak language in it wishing it would be dealt with by the Senate or in reconciliation.


    As of right now (none / 0) (#36)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:51:48 PM EST
    Stupak says he still has 6 of his original dozen who will not vote for the bill.

    That's 7 votes, in case anyone is keeping score, and I believe that would kill the bill.


    They already have what they (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by MKS on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:59:20 PM EST
    want, i.e., a restriction against federal funding for abortion; so, they are just trying to improve on an already winning hand.....For that reason, I think they cave.  

    Otherwise, they brought down health care based on a chimerical problem about abortion funding....They don't want to be there....


    I believe those 7 (none / 0) (#42)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 04:00:12 PM EST
    are already declared nos, so they're in the count.  They need 7 more than that.

    But my bet now is that Stupak himself is going to cave if he gets some kind of meaningless fig leaf.


    She has the votes (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 04:38:20 PM EST
    If they continue on towards having a vote tomorrow.  If something happens and they don't have the votes, the vote will be canceled or postponed.

    Yes, she has the votes -- if (none / 0) (#55)
    by Cream City on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 04:42:44 PM EST
    the conservatives aren't up to something.

    Nah, that never happens.


    At the time the original bill (none / 0) (#38)
    by MKS on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:55:27 PM EST
    with the Stupak language passed the House, the Republicans accused Pelosi of pulling a sleight of hand, knowing that the anti-choice language would not survive final passage.....Is Pelosi that adept?  

    Still too soon to tell if it backfires or not....


    Yes, she is that adept (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:58:46 PM EST
    This is easily the canniest, most effective Speaker I've ever seen operate in such dicey waters, including the late great Tip O'Neill.

    Too bad the benefit of her (5.00 / 4) (#57)
    by Anne on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 05:49:54 PM EST
    effectiveness may accrue more to the health insurance industry; given that I'd have preferred that she apply her skills more as Robin Hood than the Sheriff of Nottingham, I'm having trouble summoning up more than grudging admiration - and even that's not coming easily.

    If I were a better person, I could make this about the academics of process, but it's just going to have too much effect on people's lives to be that dispassionate about it.

    And I'm not sure what respect I still had for her survives the broken promises on single-payer/public option, or on the Stupak debacle.


    To be clear (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 06:30:56 PM EST
    I'm speaking about process.  That's the Speaker's sole job.

    As for promises-- what a lot of people have never really understood is that when she (or any Speaker) says X will or won't pass, as in the PO, she's reflecting her assessment of the votes, not her personal preference.  That's what a Speaker does.

    So there have been no "broken promises" from Pelosi on this.  She said that the original bill without a public option could not pass the House, and she was right.  The dynamics have changed since then, Scott Brown terrified the scaredy-pants members, and the progressives caved.

    She cannot deliver something the members won't go along with, and she'd be an ineffectual fool if she tried to pretend she could.


    Yes, Machiavellian ability (none / 0) (#59)
    by Cream City on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 06:01:38 PM EST
    wasn't so admirable when Machiavelli put it to use to achieve his aims, either.

    Slight of hand (none / 0) (#46)
    by waldenpond on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 04:08:31 PM EST
    That's an odd slight of hand... Pelosi predicted Nelson's language, that the bill would get bogged down, that there would never be a conference committee?  If the language is out, it seems due to timing or luck.  Not bashing Pelosi... I like that there is not backbiting coming from her offices.

    entirely likely (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by ruffian on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 04:21:37 PM EST
    She would not have had to know there would be no conference committee, just be confident she could get the language out in conference. The other two conditions were more or less predictable, given this Senate.