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Clyburn on abortion, health bill

From NBC's Michelle Perry
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) acknowledged that House Dems still need to work out the abortion issue in the healthcare reform bill ahead of Saturday's vote. Clyburn told NBC's Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports," that the House bill is in a good place on substance, but some remain "skittish" about the language that goes into the bill on abortion.

The potential stumbling block is whether or not the House bill would include explicit language restricting the use of federal money to pay for abortions. Moderate Blue Dog Democrats have threatened to oppose the bill if it doesn't.

"Both sides want to make sure that we don't put wording in here that will cause a tilt one way or the other," Clyburn told Mitchell, "and so that's the problem."

While Clyburn said that everyone is agreeable, that they express language in the bill that would not allow for federal funding for abortions, he added they are looking for a way to "wall off" the money. Right now moderate Dems remain concerned that there are still areas where the money is fungible.

That said, Clyburn thinks the issue will be resolved and they will have the votes necessary to pass the bill.