The Hyde Amendment is a limitation rider[pdf] to the annual HHS appropriations bill, which expires automatically at the end of every fiscal year, September 30. A 50% majority could simply refuse to extend it.
Any language at all in this healthcare bill, such as the Capps Amendment, which seems to be similar to the current Senate bill, will need an affirmative vote to repeal, which would also require 60 votes in the Senate.
This is not a compromise. A true compromise would be no language at all and letting Congress add another rider in every budget. That would truly be keeping with the status quo.
I never really realized the depth of support that reproductive rights has among the public.
John Sides has a brilliant discussion regarding public opinion on abortion, with some pretty graphs from the National Election Studies and the General Social Survey of the Univ of Michigan:
The NES says
41% believe a woman should always have a choice.
An additional 18% approve if "need is established."
The GSS has numbers even higher for "health of the mother," which, by the way, is an exemption which is not included any legislation that anti-choicers want. This is what John McCain used airquotes to deride.
A lot of hay has been made about some polls show that the public opposes government funds. Others show support:
Large majorities of Catholic voters support health insurance coverage for abortions—either in a private or a government-run scheme:
* when a pregnancy poses a threat to the life of a woman (84 percent)
* when a pregnancy is due to rape or incest (76 percent)
* when a pregnancy poses long-term health risks for the woman (73 percent)
* when test results show a fetus has a severe abnormal condition (66 percent)
Regardless, since when have we used public opinion to decide what to believe in? The war in Iraq was supported by the public. Does that mean we should have given up on fighting it? Most polls never ask whether people actually care. They don’t ask whether it is a dealbreaker. They don’t ask whether it will affect their vote. From a Pew Poll:
Pew finds that just 52 percent of voters rightly identify Obama as pro-abortion ("pro-choice" in the poll’s terminology") and only 45 percent know John McCain is pro-life on abortion.
A stunning 38 percent of voters don’t know where either Obama or McCain stand on the issue of abortion. Some ten percent wrongly identify Obama as pro-life and 17 percent think McCain supports abortion.
Does anybody really think that the 38% of people who don’t know where the candidates stood on the issue give a shit damn about issue either way? Are they going to change their vote because of it? In the end, isn’t that what the ‘centrists’ are claiming?
There also seems to be an assumption that a pro-choice vote only hurts you. This is not true:
* Obama gains 13 points among pro-choice Independent women (who make up nine percent of this electorate) and nine points among pro-choice Republican women (who account for five percent of this electorate), when they hear McCain’s anti-choice record.
* When these groups are combined, this movement equates to a gain of 1.6 points overall in the general election race against McCain.
I am sure no amount of data would convince the ChINOS (Choice in Name Only). So I guess this diary is not meant for them. However, 56% of those who voted for Democrats are women (Only 22% of Democrats in the House are. I am sure these two facts are completely unrelated to this discussion).
The main point of this diary is this:
We need a fucking scalp.
For example, let’s take a look at Collin Peterson:
As Chair of the Agriculture Committee he watered down the energy bill.
He voted against the stimulus (one of only 11 to do so).
And of course, he voted for Stupak but against the overall bill.
Exactly how many Dem interest groups can this guy shit on before someone does something? He has been in office nearly two decades, just like Stupak. I don’t suppose we can give these districts to Canada
I noted in a previous diary how there is no exception for aborting dead fetuses in any laws that anti-choicers push for. I’d like to just note for the record that dead fetuses are not, in fact, alive. In addition anti-choicers voted against helping women get pelvic exams, among other things. Are they pro-cervical cancer?
Even if you accept their reasoning, there is still no reason why these anti-choice politicians should be rewarded. They should at least be stripped of their committee assignments:
Perhaps more important, nominations for committee chairmanships and memberships were not required to be based on seniority. Also, on the request of ten Members, nominations could be separately debated and voted on by the Caucus.
Another set of seniority reforms was adopted in 1973. A secret ballot vote on any committee chair was permitted at the demand of 20 percent of the Caucus.
The Steering committee co-chairs are Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and George Miller of California. I have not been able to find out the other members.
In addition, two congressmen from California, Dennis Cardoza and Joe Baca, both ostensibly pro choice, voted for Stupak. All california districts have been gerrymandered safe, other than a few Republican districts due to changing demographics. Cardoza is chair of the Blue Dogs.
Cardoza had NO opponent in the general election. Apparently local republicans did not even bother putting up some random activist. Obama won his district, as well as those held by Stupak, Peterson and Baca, with over 60% of the vote. Winning the primary is tantamount to winning the seat.
There has to be a consequence for betraying the pro-choice position. Otherwise politicians will walk all over it. We need someone to make an example of.
When the mafia breaks one guy’s kneecaps, no one else in the neighborhood is late on paying.
Other useful links:
Shanikka from dailykos has a brilliant post with some fascinating history of the Hyde Amendment, among other things.
A lot more analysis about public opinion:
John Sides of the MonkeyCage.
Ed Kilgore of the Democratic Strategist.
Catholics for Choice
Nate Silver and Ed Kilgore at 538.