Recently North Dakota Democrats have been claiming that former Governor Ed Schafer was “sleazy” and “dishonest” for suggesting in another political ad that Senators Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan support public funding for abortion. Well today Senator Kent Conrad himself appeared on MSNBC and said that the Senate health care bill’s existing provisions for funding abortion with taxpayer dollars (which pro-life House Democrat Bart Stupak has described as “unacceptable”) could not be removed from that bill through reconciliation.
Chuck Todd: Senator Conrad, there’s no doubt a lot of senate democrats believe you know more about this budget process than anybody in the senate. So as you see these potential fixes that are going to be put under reconciliation, what is the one or two fixes that you’re concerned with that the parliamentarian may have a problem justifying under the Byrd Rule?
Kent Conrad: Well, I think changes to abortion would probably not be permitted under reconciliation and the Byrd Rule requirement.
Now, remember that in order to use reconciliation to pass the health care bill the House must first pass the Senate version of the health care bill, and then reconciliation must be used by the Senate to change the bill. If abortion can’t be removed by reconciliation, any health care bill Democrats pass through this process will fund abortion.
So who is really dishonest and sleazy? Former Governor Schafer, who is speaking the truth as he sees it, or Democrats who are trying to spin this health care bill a majority of North Dakotans and Americans in general oppose into something it’s not?