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Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI) announces support for passing health care bill

On March 17th, Congressman Dale Kildee of Michigan announced he will cast a yes vote on health care. Kildee, a pro-life Democrat, was considered a question mark after voting for the Stupak-Pitts abortion amendment in the House version of the health care bill.

Kildee, who has a liberal voting record except on abortion, has said he is “a staunch pro-life member of Congress.” First elected in 1976, Kildee has never faced a serious primary or general election challenge. Throughout his 33 years in office he has been an advocate for children and on labor issues. Kildee, a Roman Catholic, is known for his strong pro-life stance.

In his written statement Kildee said, “There is nothing more pro-life than protecting the lives of 31 million Americans. Voting for this bill in no way diminishes my pro-life voting record or undermines my beliefs. I am a staunch pro-life member of Congress — both for the born and the unborn.”

The announcement by Kildee adds to the growing list of House members who have committed to voting for the bill after being considered on the fence. Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN) announced his support for the bill, as did Rep. Dennis Kucinich and Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.). Perriello also backed the Stupak-Pitts amendment in November, 2009.

While support for passage of the bill is growing in Congress, another announcement may be as significant. A consortium of 60 leaders of Catholic religious orders representing 59,000 nuns sent a letter to lawmakers urging them to pass the bill. This is in direct opposition to the stance of The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which says the bill’s anti-abortion provisions are not strong enough.



  1. HappyinVT

    In his written statement Kildee said, “There is nothing more pro-life than protecting the lives of 31 million Americans. Voting for this bill in no way diminishes my pro-life voting record or undermines my beliefs. I am a staunch pro-life member of Congress — both for the born and the unborn.”

  2. HappyinVT

    Sarah’s coming your way (or at least to Clarkston) on May Day.  Maybe you can sneak some pix for your new bosses.

  3. Shaun Appleby

    H/t to Andrew:

    Personally, I think the reason for the increase in support is mostly this: the Democratic leadership, and particularly President Obama, are now fighting for this bill tooth and nail. They didn’t necessarily have to do this; they could have thrown in the towel, passed off some bipartisan crap that didn’t do much to help the uninsured, and called it a day. That’s what Rahm Emanuel wanted to do, as Chris Bowers points out. But that isn’t what Obama did: instead, he’s gone all-in on the thing, potentially staking his Presidency on the outcome. Liberals like the idea of being the scrappy underdog — being the fighter — and Obama, after a strangely aloof performance on the health care bill throughout 2009, has been fighting the good fight.

    Nate Silver – Why Liberals (Suddenly) Love the Health Care Bill Five Thirty Eight 18 Mar 10

  4. It comes from an AP article.

    After weeks of secrecy-shrouded meetings, Democrats unveiled 153 pages of last-minute changes that included another of Obama’s top priorities. Federally guaranteed student loans would now be made only by the government, ending a role for banks and other for-profit lenders who charge fees.

    The savings, an estimated $60 billion over a decade, would increase the maximum Pell grants for needy college students as well as support for programs such as aid to historically black colleges, a priority of the Congressional Black Caucus.

    As for health care, the additions fell generally into three categories.

    – To address concerns of House Democrats, subsidies were raised by an estimated $25 billion over a decade for consumers who would face a first-ever requirement to purchase coverage.

    – To ease concerns among governors, about $8 billion was added for 11 states and the District of Columbia, which already provide the level of Medicaid coverage that is required under the bill.

    – Seniors who experience a gap in coverage in the Medicare prescription drug program would receive a $250 rebate this year – an election-year bragging point for Democrats as they look toward the fall campaign with control of Congress at stake.

    Beginning in 2011, pharmaceutical industry discounts would cover 50 percent of the costs of drugs that seniors buy once they enter the gap in coverage. That share would rise to 75 percent over a decade. That would bring it into line with the program’s basic benefit, in which Medicare recipients generally pay 25 percent of their costs and the program picks up the rest.

    To help pay the cost of increased benefits, the legislation would increase Medicare payroll tax 0.9 percentage point, to 2.35 percent, on wages above $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for married couples filing jointly. In a change sought by the White House, beginning in 2013, a new 3.8 percent tax would be imposed on interest, dividends, capital gains and other investment income for individuals making more $200,000 and couples making more than $250,000.

  5. be sure to tune into the Glenn Beck show. He’s having Michele Bachmann on as a guest. I signed up for her mailing list and received an email with the announcement a few minutes ago.

  6. Shaun Appleby

    Still doubting the difference it has made having David Plouffe return to the inner circle at the White House?  Not me.

  7. DTOzone

    Now the pro-choicers are not happy because apparently Pelosi didn’t have enough votes so she has to go negotiate with Stupak again.  

  8. More yes votes according to an article on Huffpo –

    Even Cao of LA is leaning towards voting yes after coming out Friday with a seemingly firm no. I’m going to make a prediction now. I think there will be some republican yes votes. Some republican reps that are from less conservative districts are going to hold back their votes until it becomes clear the bill is going to pass and then vote yes.

  9. DTOzone

    remember during the stimulus vote when Sherrod Brown’s mother died and it required him to go back to Ohio for the funeral than back to DC late at night to cast the 60th vote at like midnight before recess?

    We may see a repeat of that…Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico’s father died.

    His father is, of course, former Interior Secretary amd Arizona Congressman Stewart Udall.  

  10. HappyinVT

    2:07 PM ET — Democrats round up six yes votes so far today for health reform.

    Along with Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Reps. Jim Costa (D-Ca.), Bruce Baley (D-Iowa), Debbie Halvorson (D-Ill.), Baron Hill (D-Ind.) and Bill Owens (D-N.Y.) have all been moved into the yes column.

    Don’t know where they still before today but knowing they are each a firm “yea” helps.

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