US Catholic Bishops: Executive Order Deal A Non-Starter

Dan McLaughlin
RedState.com
3/21/2010

Statement from the Bishops:

We’ve consulted with legal experts on the specific idea of resolving the abortion funding problems in the Senate bill through executive order. We know Members have been looking into this in good faith, in the hope of limiting the damage done by abortion provisions in the bill. We believe, however, that it would not be fair to withhold what our conclusion was, as it may help members in assessing the options before them:

“One proposal to address the serious problem in the Senate health care bill on abortion funding, specifically the direct appropriating of new funds that bypass the Hyde amendment, is to have the President issue an executive order against using these funds for abortion. Unfortunately, this proposal does not begin to address the problem, which arises from decades of federal appellate rulings that apply the principles of Roe v. Wade to federal health legislation. According to these rulings, such health legislation creates a statutory requirement for abortion funding, unless Congress clearly forbids such funding. That is why the Hyde amendment was needed in 1976, to stop Medicaid from funding 300,000 abortions a year. The statutory mandate construed by the courts would override any executive order or regulation. This is the unanimous view of our legal advisors and of the experts we have consulted on abortion jurisprudence. Only a change in the law enacted by Congress, not an executive order, can begin to address this very serious problem in the legislation.”

Richard Doerflinger
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

If Bart Stupak makes a deal to trade permanent legislation for a promise of a temporary executive order voidable by the courts, the Bishops won’t provide him cover.

Also at RedState.com today, by Dan Perrin:

…According to The Hill Rep. Stupak’s office is issuing strong denials of any deal, and push back from pro-abortion is starting. Directly from The Hill: “The decisions of two Tennessee Democrats, Reps. John Tanner and Lincoln Davis, to vote no has put President Barack Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her lieutenants in a major bind.”…

,,,It is clear that the Dems must make a deal to pass this nightmare of a bill. Will it be with Stupak? Apparently the Dems are meeting on that now to decide. Other sources not sure who will get sold out — the Dem leadership or the pro-lifers. If Stupak caves, his entire life will be defined by it, and the pro-lifers and the left will make him their target number one…

Read the whole thing.

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According to news reports Congressman Stupak would change his vote for the promise of an Executive Order saying taxpayer funds would not be used to pay for elective abortions, in accord with the Hyde Amendment of 1976.

So, ask yourself this: if you were Bart Stupak, would you bet the farm on any promise from Barack Obama, given what you’ve witnessed over the past 14 months? ~ CAJ

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