Saturday, March 20, 2010

Down and Out Goes Oberstar

Looks like the Democrats are desperate for votes tomorrow. They refused to let Rep. James Oberstar off the hook have forced him to abandon his pro-life voting record in favor of a bill that for the first time will allow federal tax dollars to fund abortions. From his Facebook announcement:

This afternoon, Congressman Jim Oberstar announced his support for the comprehensive health care legislation that the House of Representatives will consider on Sunday.

"I have evaluated the issues of health care for 35 years and very intensively for this past year as Congress has worked on the major reform legislation. The fine points of this health care bill have now been defined, and in my judgment, the balance of benefits are in favor of this bill. That will benefit the people of the 8th congressional district and the American people."

And about that Stupak amendment he insisted on when the House passed its bill in December, but has been stripped out of the Senate version he's now supporting?

Regarding the lingering issue of abortion, I am confident that abortion will not be funded in this legislation.

In other words, he's closing his eyes and covering his ears and pretending its not there. The US Catholic Bishops have made it clear the current legislation does in fact change the status quo in favor of now funding abortions. The Democrat pro-choice caucus in the House confirm this, in their vehement protest over any inclusion of Stupak restrictions.

A sad day for Oberstar and Catholics and pro-life advocates in MN-8. Paradoxically, it may still signal good news for the defeat of the bill. If the Democrats need Oberstar's vote, they don't have it locked up without him. Should be a close one tomorrow.

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