Stupak Officially Announces His Retirement
The Associated Press: "Rep. Bart Stupak, an anti-abortion Democrat targeted for defeat by tea party activists for his role in securing House approval of the health care overhaul, said Friday he's retiring after 18 years in Congress now that his main legislative goal has been accomplished." Stupak "said at a news conference that he had considered retirement for years but was persuaded to stay because of the prospect of serving with a Democratic majority and helping win approval of the health care overhaul" (Flesher, 4/9).
The New York Times: "Stupak, a nine-term incumbent, has been under intense pressure from anti-abortion groups and others since the health care bill passed last month. At his request, President Obama signed an executive order outlining the prohibitions against the use of federal funds for abortion. But anti-abortion groups dismissed the executive order and pledged to defeat Mr. Stupak, whom they had once championed" (Zeleny and Herszenhorn, 4/9).
CBS News: "Had Stupak sought re-election, he would have faced challengers from both the left and the right backed by interest groups angered by Stupak's health care vote" (Condon, 4/9).
The Washington Post: "Sources familiar with Stupak's thinking describe him as burned out from the long fight over health care in which he emerged as the leading voice of pro-life Democrats wary about the possibility that the legislation would allow federal funds to be spent on abortions" (Cillizza, 4/9).
The Hill: "Stupak had drawn challengers in this cycle. ... Stupak's wife had reported receiving death threats in the wake of her husband's healthcare vote. Stupak's district includes much of northern Michigan, including the state's Upper Peninsula, a rural area that is seen as Republican-leaning" (O'Brien, 4/9).
Roll Call: During the press conference, "Stupak said the vitriol he has faced over his health care stand 'didn't play a big part' in his decision. But the timing of the announcement - coming the same week the group Tea Party Express launched a $250,000 ad campaign against him and held a series of rallies - didn't do much to reinforce his claim. Instead, it bolstered national Republicans' message that Democrats are running scared in the wake of a health care vote backlash" (Cadei, 4/9).
Politico: "Republicans believe that other pro-life Democrats, like freshman Reps. Steve Driehaus (D-Ohio) and Kathy Dahlkemper (D-Pa.), will also face serious trouble because of their support for the health care legislation without strict anti-abortion provisions" (Barr, 4/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.