Stupak Negotiating a Deal, Still a ‘No’ on Health Bill

Posted March 21, 2010 at 1:52pm

Anti-abortion-rights Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) told reporters Sunday that he remains a “no” on the health care reform overhaul but is trying to negotiate a deal so he could support the measure.

“We’re working on language,” Stupak said. “There’s no agreement. Until there is agreement, I’m a ‘no’ vote.”

But Stupak said he wants to vote in favor of the bill, set for passage later this evening.

“We’re not there yet, we’re trying to get there.”

Democrats said Stupak is negotiating the language of an executive order with the White House, and they are hopeful that he will ultimately support the overhaul. Stupak has led a bloc of Democrats demanding more stringent abortion restrictions to the Senate bill, and Stupak authored strict anti-abortion language that easily passed the House in November when Members approved that chamber’s version of reform.

Asked if he needed the support of the Catholic bishops, who have opposed the idea of an executive order as insufficient, Stupak made it clear the decision will be his, not theirs.

“This decision will be determined by Members,” he said.