Doyle key to Stupak-W.H. deal

March 22, 2010

The fate of health care reform may have turned on a single relationship.

When they needed to find a way to unlock the votes of a group of anti-abortion lawmakers led by Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak, Democratic leaders turned to Stupak’s roommate, Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Doyle, to facilitate the critical talks.

Doyle urged Stupak to write his own version of an executive order that would bridge the abortion divide by reinforcing a ban on the use of federal funds for abortion — a plan that was circulating at the highest levels of the West Wing early last week.

“The idea was brought up, and I just said to Bart: ‘You write up an executive order. … Write the one that you’d write,’