I called your attention last night to the Democrats’ struggle over abortion funding language in the House health care bill.
This morning, we learn that the majority is planning to evade sunlight and break its own 72-hour transparency rule by cutting a backroom deal with pro-life Democrats — and leaving out language on abortion funding from the bill to be disclosed to the public. This won’t violate their disclosure pledge, Democrats claim.
House Republicans are accusing Democrats of breaking a pledge to make the healthcare legislation public for three days so they can resolve a feud between liberals and centrists over abortion provisions.
Lawmakers said the abortion compromise may not be included in the final version of the bill to be released as soon as Wednesday, called the “manager’s amendment.” Instead, it may be included in the “rule,” which is done the day before the vote. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday he did not consider that a violation of his pledge to have the bill language available for three days before a vote.
“We said the manager’s amendment we would give 72 hours for,” Hoyer said. “Obviously, we have had 72 hours on the bill. So I don’t think that is a violation.”
But Republican leaders accused Democrats of planning to sneak “closed-door” deals into the bill at the last minute.
“If Democrats continue to add closed-door deals to their bill after their manager’s amendment has been introduced, they will break their 72-hour promise,” said Brad Dayspring, spokesman for House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.). “What else might they include in the final version without Congress and the American people knowing about it?”
The clock is ticking. A floor vote could take place as early as Saturday.
Operation Housecall is on. And if you can make it to DC tomorrow: Join Michele Bachmann, Mark Levin, and conservative activists on the steps of the Capitol at noon to raise your voices in opposition to the government health care takeover.
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