4:08 PM. Indeed, Stupak says they have a deal. Pop the champagne. The text of the White House’s Executive Order is here.
3:51 PM. Several press accounts now say a deal has been reached and will be announced at the 4 PM conference.
3:35 PM. Stupak will hold a presser at 4 PM. Henry Waxman sounded some pretty optimistic notes in an impromptu interview with CNN — but not much longer to wait now.
3:05 PM. A CNN producer caught up with Stupak about 15 minutes ago as he was headed back to his office — he was somewhat hesitant to speak with her, and suggested that he was “getting there” and “trying to get it done” — but there’s still no deal yet. Keep in mind that, while the CW is to speak of the Stupak voters as a “bloc”, the 8 or 10 representatives in this group have different incentives and might want somewhat different language out of the White House … some wanting nothing more than the thinnest leaf of cover to vote for the bill and others probably looking for any excuse not to vote for it.
2:02 PM. CNN’s Dana Bash providing a little bit more clarity on her earlier reporting — saying that Stupak had told her that he was very close and was negotiating directly with White House lawyers — but no new news, really, and until we hear something from Stupak himself, there are no guarantees.
1:43 PM. FOX’s Major Garrett, confirming CNN, reports (via Twitter) that Stupak’s office tells him that they have not yet reached a deal over executive order language.
1:35 PM. CNN is also reporting that John Tanner, another retiring Democrat who voted no originally, will maintain his no vote — making it more important for Democrats to pick off some members of the Stupak bloc.
1:23 PM. Indeed, there’s some contradictory reporting on this, with Politico also saying that Stupak is a yes but CNN saying they’ve heard from his office that he’s not there yet. What’s less ambiguous is that Marcy Kaptur and Brian Baird have now said they’ll vote for the bill, which would bring the Democrats pretty close to their target even without Stupak.
1:12 PM. At this point, we’re sort of out of the period in which any kind of arm’s-length analysis is going to do very much good and it’s mostly up to the reporters — one of which I am not. On that front, MSNBC is reporting that Bart Stupak will in fact vote for the bill, probably in exchange for an executive order which would be issued by the White House to clarify the scope of the bill’s abortion language. If Stupak votes for the bill, it’s a safe bet that several other members of his “bloc” (which had already been whittled down some) will too, and that the bill will pass with a margin of a few votes to spare — probably giving Democrats enough of a cushion to avoid any last-minute shenanigans on the floor. Still, Stupak has not yet confirmed this himself.
It looks very, very good, in other words, but stranger things have happened…