The Fall of the Stupak Six (Eight? Nine? Dozen?)

Stupak: Stop!Well, the dominoes are falling. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) and his allies have just capitulated. They will almost certainly give the democrats the vote margin they need to pass Obamacare through the House.

Apparently President Obama has promised to issue an Executive Order reiterating that the Hyde Amendment applies in this case. That would reinforce the existing law that no federal funds can be used to pay for abortions (except in cases of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother). But if Obama were serious about this, he wouldn’t issue an Executive Order. He’d issue a signing statement. Executive Orders can’t modify legislation (since their power is based in the ability of the Executive to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” as set up by Article II, Section 3, Clause 4), but signing statements can change them all around.

The Republicans are fighting bravely, though. They’re doing everything they can, reasonable or not, to derail the bill through arcane legislative procedures. They’ve made numerous nonsensical requests for parliamentary clarifications of unrelated matters. They’re using every delaying tactic they can think of. And they should be applauded for it. I know that I decried the use of obscure parliamentary tricks to pass Obamacare, but it’s totally appropriate to use them to stop Obamacare. It doesn’t matter if bills that don’t pass were treated constitutionally, only ones that do pass. (That’s based on Rep. Michele Bachmann’s explanation of why we don’t have to obey non-laws, to be posted soon).

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