The Hill, a newspaper that covers Congress when it’s in session, lists U.S. Rep.. Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville, as undecided in its latest survey/tracking of House Democrats’ positions on health care reform legislation.
Shuler voted against the first version of the House legislation of health care reform last November, when the bill passed in a 220-215 vote. The health care reform bill, which would allow millions more Americans access to health care insurance and curb some controversial insurance industry practices, was passed in the U.S. Senate on Christmas Eve.
Since then, lawmakers have been working to merge both bills into one. President Barack Obama has called for a final vote in Congress, and Democrats have been working to line up votes for passage.
“However, The Hill has not yet put Democrats who are insisting on Rep. Bart Stupak’s (D-Mich.) language on abortion in the ‘no’ category. Stupak has said there are 12 Democrats who supported the House bill in November who will vote no unless his measure blocking federal funding of abortions is melded into the final bill.
“If leadership doesn’t make changes to the abortion language and Stupak does indeed have 12 votes in his pocket, it will be very difficult to pass a bill. Yet if they do change the provisions, supporters of abortion rights in the House will threaten to vote no.”
Shuler voted for the Stupak amendment in November.
The Xpress has called Shuler’s office to ask for a response to The Hill’s count.
Shuler was one of 39 Democrats to vote against the House bill in November 2009. Here’s Shuler talking to Xpress about his vote the day after the vote.