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The amendment would prohibit federal funds from paying for any part of any health insurance plan that covers abortion. Stupak told CNSNews.com in a video interview posted on Oct. 23 that he had organized a group of about 40 Democrats who would vote to kill the health-care bill if Speaker Pelosi did not allow a straight up-or-down vote on his amendment when the health bill came to the House floor.
Pelosi finally consented to this request and instructed the House Rules Committee to approve a vote on Stupak’s amendment in the wee hours of Saturday morning—the same day the bill came up for a vote.
During debate on the bill on the House floor Saturday afternoon, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R.-Ohio) said he believed the Democratic leadership had relented and allowed a vote on Stupak’s amendment only because they needed more votes to pass the bill itself. Boehner said he doubted the amendment would be included in the final version of the bill that emerges from a House-Senate conference committee.
“The only reason this amendment is allowed to be offered is in order to secure enough votes to try to move this bill through the floor today,” said Boehner. “And I have my doubts about whether this language if it passes has any chance of ever being in the final version of this bill.”