OTR Interviews

When a 'Yes' on the Health Care Bill Turns to 'No'

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," March 17, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Speaker Pelosi is counting heads and keeping a close eye on all those Democrats on Congress, including Illinois Democratic Congressman Daniel Lipinski. Lipinski voted with the speaker in November but is he now going rogue on her? Here's Democratic Congressman Lipinski.


VAN SUSTEREN: Congressman, nice to see you.

REP. DANIEL LIPINSKI, D - ILL.: Good to see you, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you for letting us come to your office.

LIPINSKI: Glad you could come here.

VAN SUSTEREN: A lot of attention on you. You voted yes. You voted yes last November for the health care. And your vote is now what?

LIPINSKI: My vote is now no based on the fact the Senate bill funds abortion through community health centers and also gives federal subsidies for people to purchase insurance that can cover abortion. Both of those are in direct contradiction of the Hyde Amendment, which is right now the status quo.

VAN SUSTEREN: With the language as is, is there any doubt in your mind you're a no?

LIPINSKI: No doubt in my mind.

VAN SUSTEREN: Are there others Democrats who voted yes who are feeling just like you are?

LIPINSKI: Yes, there are. Bart Stupak is in the same position. And there are others. I've decided to come forward and speak on this, but we have other members who are like minded.

VAN SUSTEREN: Without outing them, do you have an idea how many is in this group that feel like you, who were yes last fall and no now based on the abortion language?

LIPINSKI: Bart has said 12. We had a meeting yesterday morning. I'd say that's an accurate number.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Have you heard anything from the leadership, from Speaker Pelosi or Congressman Steny Hoyer in the last five or six days?

LIPINSKI: Yes. I just simply told them I cannot vote for the Senate abortion language.

VAN SUSTEREN: Who did you speak to?

LIPINSKI: I talked to Steny.

VAN SUSTEREN: What did he say?

LIPINSKI: We talked a little about it. He said well where do you see this does cover abortion? I plainly went through the bill and said I think it's very obvious that funding is in there. I just cannot vote for that.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did he give you any indication he would be willing to move off that language and change that language to satisfy you?

LIPINSKI: As of that time, no. There was no indication of that.

VAN SUSTEREN: Were you offered anything? OK we understand you don't like that language, would this be OK, or would you like something else?

LIPINSKI: No. And I'm really letting Bart Stupak -- we can only have one real person who is in charge in terms of working on any kind of language, because the last time we went through the same thing when the bill was in the House.

And it wasn't until the last minute that they came to us and said OK, we can -- we understand we need to change the abortion funding language. And they did it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is it uncomfortable going again your party?

LIPINSKI: It is never comfortable being in a Democratic caucus and having such overwhelming support for the bill -- obviously not enough to pass it, but yes, it's uncomfortable. But it is something on this issue especially that I know this is where I'm at. And most of the caucus is not in the same place, but I know this is the right thing.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is there anything at all short of changing the language that would make you change your mind? Anything offered to your district to anything else to you to change your mind that would give you any wiggle room so you can accept that language?

LIPINSKI: Absolutely not. If that language is not changed, I will vote no.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you, sir.

LIPINSKI: Thank you.


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