Nancy is usurping Harry over abortion.

Via National Journal

Tensions are roiling between Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi over an unusual point of contention for the two top Democrats: abortion policy.

The fight is serious enough that it could kill the House Minority Leader’s ambitious deal with Republicans on the so-called “doc fix.”

Even as Senate Democrats waged war over an expansion of the Hyde Amendment—which prevents federal funds from being used to cover abortions—on a human trafficking bill last week, Pelosi was penning a deal with Speaker John Boehner to eliminate the Medicare “sustainable growth rate” that includes another controversial Hyde Amendment provision.

Reid has made unambiguously clear to his counterpart in the House that such a deal would be unacceptable. And Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, who has championed a permanent solution for SGR—a routine congressional headache—indicated last week that Hyde-like language would be a “complete nonstarter” (though an aide emphasized that Wyden’s statement was based on reports and that he hadn’t seen the official language or discussed it with Pelosi).

The two top Democrats have split repeatedly in recent months over when to compromise with the GOP and when to hold firm. In this case, Pelosi pushed forward anyway, including the Hyde Amendment language in the doc-fix bill House leaders were set to file Monday evening.

The bicameral tension among Democrats is coming to a head as Congress faces an ever-shrinking timeline to get some kind of deal—permanent or temporary—passed before doctors face a 20 percent payment cut from Medicare after March 31.

Pelosi disputes that the use of the Hyde Amendment in the measure she has worked on for weeks with Boehner constitutes an expansion. The funding for community health clinics at the center of the dispute already is subject to the Hyde Amendment, under an executive order signed by President Obama in 2010.[…]

But Senate Democratic leaders and scores of pro-abortion rights groups have said the change is much more serious than Pelosi is letting on. Because the funds already are subject to the Hyde amendment, the only point in adding this language is to insert it into U.S. code and expand the anti-abortion amendment’s reach, opponents argue.

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