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Dem claims he has enough pro-life votes to defeat health bill

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The co-author of a House amendment that would exclude abortion from health care reform says efforts to overhaul the US’s health care system will fail if the amendment is removed.

US House Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) told Fox News’ Fox & Friends that if his contentious amendment is stripped from the House bill, it will lose 15 to 20 pro-life votes in the House, meaning it wouldn’t have the votes necessary to pass the House.

“They’re not going to take it out,” The Hill quotes Stupak as saying. “If they do, health care will not move forward.”

But that claim was immediately disputed by another House representative, Diana DeGette, Democrat of Colorado and co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, who said that Stupak’s math is wrong, because many of those 15 to 20 votes were conservative Democrats who voted in favor of the amendment, but still voted against the health care bill as a whole.

“I think [Stupak] won’t have the votes when people explain to those members what exactly the Stupak amendment does,” DeGette told ABC News.

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Progressive politicians and reproductive-rights advocates have been raising the alarm about the Stupak-Pitts amendment to the House’s health care bill. The amendment would deny public subsidies to health insurance plans that cover abortion.

Pro-choice activists say the move could effectively further limit access to abortions if health insurers decide to drop abortion coverage in order to qualify for subsidies. And the lack of coverage could, in turn, discourage doctors from providing abortions.

Pro-life groups, such as the US Catholic church, argue that the amendment is necessary because without it health reform would be tantamount to forcing people to condone abortions just by paying their taxes.

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DeGette argued that the Catholic church’s involvement in health reform is an encroachment on the separation of church and state.

“Last I heard, we had separation of church and state in this country,” she said. “I’ve got to say that I think the Catholic bishops and all of the other groups shouldn’t have input.”

Despite an outpouring of anger by many women’s groups over the church’s push to ensure abortion is not covered under health care reform, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops is standing its ground.

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“To limit our teaching or governing to what the state is not interested in would be to betray both the constitution of our country and, much more importantly, the Lord himself,” said Cardinal Francis George, as quoted at the Washington Times.

Over the weekend, senior White House adviser David Axelrod said President Obama opposes the Stupak-Pitts amendment.

“The president has said repeatedly, and he said in his speech to Congress, that he doesn’t believe that this bill should change the status quo as it relates to the issue of abortion,” Axelrod told CNN’s John King. “He’s going to work with the Senate and the House to try to ensure that at the end of the day the status quo is not changed.”

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But, as Politico noted, Axelrod would not say if Obama would veto a health care plan that included the abortion restriction.


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Trump drops swear word in North Carolina — before whining he has ‘no friends’ as president

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In a story about how great he is, President Donald Trump told his North Carolina rally audience on Wednesday that a "business person" he knows always hated him. But he's doing well now anyway because of the president's policies.

"He came up to me and I said, 'How are you doing?' Very warm, you know. 'Hey, how are you doing. Let’s get out of here,'" Trump recalled.

"And he said, 'I’m doing good, you are doing good.' I said, 'Yeah.' I said, 'You know, you don’t like me and I don’t like you, I never have liked you, and you have never liked me. But you are going to support me because you are a rich guy, and if you don’t support me, you are going to be so Goddamn poor, you are not going to believe it.'"

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‘It’s so un-American’: Internet scorches Trump supporters for racist chants of ‘Send her back!’

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The ignoble highlight of President Donald Trump's rally in Greenville, North Carolina on Wednesday was when his fans doubled down on his racist attacks on four Democratic congresswomen of color and targeted Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), chanting "Send her back! Send her back!"

Political commentators of all stripes were gobsmacked by the crowd's naked racism — and buried them in condemnation:

The crowd at Trump’s rally chanting “send her back” after the President viciously and dishonestly attacked Ilhan Omar is one of the most chilling and horrifying things I’ve ever seen in politics.

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Jeffrey Epstein wasn’t even a competent investor: report

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There can be no doubt that high-powered hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein would rather the public know him for his prominence and success as an investor than for the allegations of child sex trafficking, for which he has now been indicted and faces life in prison. And there has for years been mystique surrounding Epstein's business — his wealth fund is so exclusive that it reportedly requires a billion dollars up front from clients.

But according to the Dow Jones' periodical Barron's, Epstein may not even be good at that.

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