Representative Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) said last week that he and 11 other Blue Dog Democrats in the House will not vote for the healthcare bill unless it includes language that clearly prohibits the use of federal money to fund abortion services.
"We’re not going to vote for this bill with that kind of language," said Stupak on Good Morning America, referring to the Senate version of the healthcare bill that President Obama is urging lawmakers to adopt. "I want to see healthcare," added the Michigan Representative, "but we’re not going to bypass some principles and beliefs that we feel strongly about."
If Stupak and the other Democrats follow through on their pledge, it will be very difficult for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to approve the bill, which only passed by a margin of 220-215 in November.
However, Senate Democrats may resist Stupak’s attempt to include the more restrictive abortion language in the final version of the bill, as it would almost certainly rule out the possibility of utilizing budget reconciliation. This parliamentary tactic would allow Democrats to pass healthcare legislation in the Senate with only 51 votes, rather than the 60 that are usually required to overcome a Republican filibuster.