November 7th, 2009
12:20 PM ET
9 years ago

House begins debate on health care legislation

Washington (CNN) - In a special Saturday session, the House of Representatives began debating health care legislation crafted by House Democrats, as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle considered an amendment to the bill that would put restrictions on abortion funding.

President Barack Obama made a rare visit to Capitol Hill earlier in the day to meet with members of the House Democratic caucus and push forward proposed the health care measure.

But the contentious issue of abortion is threatening to delay Saturday's scheduled vote on the nearly $1.1 trillion bill by the full House of Representatives and possibly push it back to Sunday, according to two Democratic sources.

In a late night development, anti-abortion Democrats scored a major victory by persuading Democratic leaders to allow them to offer an amendment during the debate Saturday that would ban most abortion coverage from the public option and other insurance providers in the new so-called "exchange" the legislation would create, three Democratic sources told CNN.

The prohibition would exclude cases of rape, incest or if the mother's life is in danger.

House Democratic leadership sources said that win or lose, they hope giving abortion foes the opportunity to vote will clear the way for passage of their health care bill. But sharp differences among Democrats on the abortion issue and others, such as immigration, are raising questions over whether Speaker Nancy Pelosi currently has the 218-vote majority needed for passage of the legislation.

Several anti-abortion Democrats will offer the amendment, including Rep. Brad Ellsworth, D-Indiana, and Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Michigan.

House Minority John Boehner told reporters after debate on the legislation had begun that the GOP leadership strongly supports that amendment.

"We believe taxpayer funding of abortion is wrong, and we will do everything we can to stop that from happening, by passing the Stupak amendment," he said.

Full story

Filed under: Abortion • Health care • House • President Obama
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. John Ca

    I hope passes this Bill!!!

    john ca.

    November 7, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  2. John Ca

    Pres. Obama had to go to capital hill to push the Dems back in line and I hope will pass this bill by the end of the year and that is a tall order from the people.

    November 7, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  3. The nazis had 'Mein Kampf', the wingnuts have 'Going Rogue

    Let's hope that today will be the begining of the end of the criminal acts against Americans by the health insurance industry.

    November 7, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  4. tochi

    If you want to see ugly face of GOP house-watch this debate. No substance but yelling, screaming lies, prejudice and hate from these right wing thugs.

    November 7, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  5. Shawn

    I hope that our congressmen & women finally come to their senses and pass real healthcare reform, and not water it down just to get it through. Healthcare is a right. I'm willing to live healthy if it means that if I get sick, I won't lose everything. The ball is in your court. Please, for the sake of my disabled parents, for all my love ones, for our great nation, and for the future, pass this bill & remind the world why we are the greatest nation on earth.

    November 7, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  6. New Yorker

    There won't be enough amendments added to allow us to continue to remain a nation with the liberty that our founding fathers intended us to have. The constitution has been whittled away to the point where we may just need to have a new declaration of independence. Obama and his regime have divided this nation like no one else.

    November 7, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. Darrel

    Wow Pelosis bragging about this being the aniversary of the democrats taking over the seate and congress.Gee lets look at their record of acomplishments since 2007.7.5 million jobs vanished,record deficits,record debt levels,states in financial ruin,an economic collapse,no movement period on energy independence,no offshore dtiling,record gas prices a year ago,record home forclosures,record stimulus,record unemployment,record bailouts,gee they sure like breaking records.Ya blame Bush all you want but who really controlls the nations purse strings.Bush helped cause this mess by going along with them,he deserves the blame too,but who are these clwns trying to kid?They do as well.

    November 7, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  8. GI Joe

    I don'[t like the idea that a bunch of politicians can dictate what a woman wants.

    If they are so pro-life, let them sign a contract to adopt the next baby born - no matter what the deformity, color, or whatever. Let them commit to a lifetime of support and care. Then I'll believe them.

    November 7, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  9. GuyInVA

    I must admit, I'm surprised. I realize that the anti-abortion (funny how CNN doesn't call them pro-life) democrats can only offer the amendment, but even this concession is unexpected. The democratic party has only one 100% absolute criteria for any party presidential candidate or judicial nominee: pro abortion (not pro choice) credentials. Who knows, maybe Justice Sotomayor will surprise us too.

    November 7, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  10. John Ca

    I think Pres. Obama is one of the best Treasury Debt seller the United States has ever had because Tim and Jerry are spending a lot money for this bill.

    November 7, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  11. mark l holland

    America is a secular nation and was founded as such. Religious beliefs, doctrine or dogma has no place in establishing secular law.

    November 7, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  12. Peter s

    Why keep on talking about abortion? unless abortion is on medical grounds to save the mother I think we should be talking about responsibility! ladies close your legs during those days! guys zip-up your jeans!. Problem solved? partially! parents talk with your kids about unsafe sex! its not all about AIDS its also about un wanted pregnancies!!

    November 7, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  13. Annie, Atlanta

    I am so sick of abortion being a political issue. It isn't. It's personal. The Supreme Court made it a legal medical procedure back in 1973 under Nixon's white house. It's a court decision; get it out of political debate. No one can tell me what to do with my body. I don't profess to be able to tell you what to do with yours. Let's worry about the people who are actually here. Not the ones who could have or should have, however you believe. I'm sick of it being a stumbling block no matter which way we turn. And I won't even try to understand the hate and murder of doctors who perform the procedure. What's that all about? Pro Life kinda sorta, when convenient? Enough, already.

    November 7, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  14. Mark from Louisiana

    What's to say they won't pull that admendment when the Senate votes. Out political system sucks, time for a new one.

    November 7, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  15. Gerry

    So far this year 151,000,000 has been spent on advertising on health care. Imagine how much health care this could have provided for people without healthcare.

    November 7, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |