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Reps. Weiner, Stupak: Senate Should Go First on Health Care

The Senate should pass its reconciliation "fix it" bill before expecting the House to pass any more health care legislation, Reps. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) and Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) said on "Washington Unplugged" today.

Both Weiner and Stupak, representing two different points on the ideological spectrum within the Democratic party, told moderator Bill Plante they were more optimistic about health care reform passing, now that President Obama is pushing for a specific reform proposal. However, they had a few qualifications to add about the process.

Some Democrats have said the House will have to pass the original Senate bill before the Senate will pass its reconciliation bill -- only requiring a 51-vote majority for passage -- that would add in the changes from Mr. Obama.

Weiner took issue with that plan.

"The United States Senate has been the single problem with getting this bill passed," he said. "They should fix their bill with the majority rule process and then we'll adopt it if it turns out to be up to the standards of the American people."

He added, "Fool me once, shame on me; fool me 290 times, shame on you," referring to the 290 bills passed in the House but ignored by the Senate.

"We don't necessarily have to vote on the Senate bill," Stupak added. "I don't think [House leaders] have 10 votes for the Senate bill."

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"We're just finding a way we can get through the Senate hurdles by a simple majority," he said.

Stupak also maintained that the final legislation must not provide any kind of funding for abortions, something he has said could sway the vote of as many as 12 House members.

"We want the president just to keep current law" of no federal funding for abortion, Stupak said. "I hope it's part of his proposal. It'll be easier for me then to support."

Watch the interview above.

"Washington Unplugged" appears live on each weekday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Click here to check out previous episodes.

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