Stupak schedules, postpones press conference

STUPAK SCHEDULES, POSTPONES PRESS CONFERENCE…. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) scheduled a Capitol Hill press conference for 11 a.m. (ET), at which he was poised to be joined by a cadre of allies. It wasn’t altogether clear what he’d say at the event, but Stupak’s message was unlikely to be an encouraging one.

About a half-hour ago, Stuapk had a different announcement: the press conference has been postponed.

Things are moving pretty quickly on this front, but it’s worth appreciating that the issue of indirect, circuitous funding of abortions really does put the entire health care reform effort in jeopardy.

Is the delay in Stuapk’s press conference good or bad? Those of us outside the negotiating rooms can’t say with certainty — at least not yet — but it could be either.

Maybe Stupak was going to announce that he had 10 votes to kill the legislation, but he struck a deal with the Democratic leadership and no longer needs to make that declaration.

Or maybe Stupak was going to announce that he already struck a deal with the leadership, but then the leadership had to scramble in the face of a pro-choice revolt that would have killed the bill.

Or maybe the talks are just ongoing, and Stupak postponed to see where they’re headed.

We do know that the Democratic mainstream doesn’t want Stupak to screw up a once-in-a-generation opportunity. Rep. John Dingell (D) of Michigan, the longest-serving member of the House and a man who’s committed his professional life to completing health care reform, said this morning he would work to “beat” Stupak’s efforts.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.