Obama order on abortion locks in health care votes - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Obama order on abortion locks in health care votes

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama and House Democratic leaders have struck a last-minute deal with abortion foes to secure the final few votes needed to remake America's health care system.

Obama lobbied by phone from the White House, then took the crucial step of issuing an executive order that satisfied a small group of Democrats who demanded that no federal funds be used for elective abortions. One of them, Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan, has now thrown his support behind the bill after leading the holdouts in a rebellion that had left the outcome in doubt.

The House continues to argue its way through a thicket of Republican objections toward an evening vote on the bill.

Passage of a central health care bill already cleared by the Senate would send it to Obama for his signature. That still would leave one more step, a companion package of changes that would go to the Senate.

Meanwhile, shouting protesters outside the Capitol continue to express their opposition to the reform bill.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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