Lipinski Stands Alone

Lipinski said abortion language turns him off

In the end, just one Illinois Democrat voted no on the health care bill that passed through the U.S. Congress Sunday night on a 219-212 roll call vote.

Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Western Springs) bucked his party and his president to vote against the monumental reform bill.

"I'm a proud Democrat, but I'm also an independent and do what I think is right for my constituents and for the country.  And I think people respect that," Lipinski said Monday.

His vote wasn't a big surprise.

Lipinski had been saying for weeks that he didn’t think he could vote for the bill because of language that he said would provide federal funding for abortions.

President Obama signed an executive order to deal with those concerns, but Lipinski said late Sunday that he didn’t believe the order did enough.

"I do not believe the last-minute effort to address these concerns through an Executive Order is sufficient because there is every indication that federal courts would strike down this order, and the order could be repealed at any time in the future," Lipinski said, according to the Sun-Times.

Even though the legislation passed, Democratic leaders were said to be confounded by Lipinski’s opposition to the legislation, writes the Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet who was in Washington. Lipinski is a diabetic who could benefit from the laws concerning pre-existing conditions.

But Lipinski told Sweet that he didn’t think his no vote would hurt his career.

Other Illinois dems were on the fence about the bill but ultimately fell on the side of Obama and the party -- notably Luis Gutierrez, who caused a bit of a stir last week when he said he wouldn’t be able to vote for the bill because it could have harmed illegal immigrants.

Gutierrez changed his mind, however, when the White House assured him that immigration issues would be addressed soon.

"Once I understood there would be a renewal around comprehensive immigration, I said OK, I accomplished my goal," Gutierrez said.

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