Anti-Abortion Rights Democrat Met with Obama, Remains Undecided

Mar 19, 2010 1:39pm

ABC's Z. Byron Wolf and Sunlen Miller report: 

The White House is not making public who the President personally lobbies on the health reform bill – only that he has spoken personally with three dozen Congressmen since Monday.

But we are learning, in drips and drabs, from Capitol Hill who is getting these meetings.

One recipient of such a meeting: Rep. Steve Driehaus, an important Ohio Democrat, who voted for the House bill but expressed real concerns with the version now before Congress because it adheres to a less stringent ban on federal funding for insurance policies that cover abortion.

Driehaus’s office confirmed that he met with the president at the White House Thursday. Combined with Vice President Joe Biden’s fundraising stop for Driehaus Monday in Cincinnati, Ohio, Driehaus has received some of the most visible lobbying from the Obama administration.

But the meeting with the president and the fundraiser by the vice president have not yet yielded a yes vote for the health reform bill.

There has been “No change in his position,” according to Driehaus spokesman Tim Mulvey. “If the House votes on the Senate bill, he won't support it unless a way can be found to change the abortion language.”

That is the case for an unknown number of Democrats who oppose the abortion language in the final version of health reform released Thursday.

The most vocal such member is Rep. Bart Stupak, who claims to have a dozen votes in his pocket unless Democrats can fina way to alter the abortion language.

Read more on the disagreement HERE. 

Driehaus is also notable because of an ad targeting him in a newspaper in his Cincinnati district. It was run in the Cincinnati Enquirer by the group rethinkreform.   

The ad featured a picture of Driehaus with his two daughters, and the words, “If he votes for it, who is he representing?”

Driehaus complained about his daughters being featured, and the group apologized.

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus