Another pro-life House Dem digs in his heels on health care bill

Jon Ward Contributor

Rep. Joe Donnelly, of Indiana, told me unequivocally just now that he remains a staunch no vote against health care if the Senate bill’s language on abortion is not changed.

“It provides federal funding for abortion-related services, so I can’t cross that line,” Donnelly said, standing just outside the House chamber.

I asked him if he’s getting a lot of pressure to back down and vote for a health care bill.

“No. They know that this is a matter of conscience and I’m trying to do the right thing. We want good health care for this country but this language does not provide good health care,” Donnelly said.

Earlier Thursday, two other House Democrats sounded equally pessimistic about the chances of reaching an agreement. About a dozen pro-life House Democrats are considered no votes unless such an agreement is found.

Donnelly said he had not heard “anything” that would resemble a possible resolution of this issue.

A few minutes after talking to Donnelly, I ran into House Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter, who was as dismissive as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats of trying to please the pro-life Democrats.

“I don’t know that we’re going to do that,” Slaughter said, in reference to changing the Senate bill language.