Ben Nelson rejects abortion compromise
In an interview today, Senator Ben Nelson told KLIN radio in Lincoln, Nebraska, that he will not vote for the Senate Health Care bill as it now stands.
Nelson, a Nebraska Democrat, said in the interview that new compromise language on abortion funding is unacceptable.
Nelson's statement could come as a major blow to Harry Reid’s effort to line up 60 votes for the health care vote. Nelson has previously said he would filibuster the Senate version of the bill unless it mirrored the abortion language included in the House bill.
Even if abortion is addressed to his satisfaction, “that is not enough” for Nelson commit to voting for the bill, he said.
HOST: “You’ve been very clear that you do not like the idea of federal funding going towards abortions. You provided the amendment that did not pass muster with the Senate. Is that the single issue right now—if that were changed, would that be enough, right now, for you to go along with the bill?”
NELSON: “No. There are other substantive issues…”
HOST: “But if the abortion issue is taken care of to your satisfaction, whether it be some kind of compromise that is to your satisfaction, would that be enough for you to vote for cloture and go forward?”
HOST: “That’s not enough alone?”
NELSON: “That’s not enough.”
NELSON: “A deadline and a timeline that’s out there that is not achievable isn’t helpful. I can’t tell you that they couldn’t come up with something that would be satisfactory on abortion between now and [Christmas], and solve all the other issues that I’ve raised to them. But I don’t see how.”
HOST: “Senator, we gotta let you go, but I want you to bottom line this for our listeners. As of right now, the way things stand right now, you would not vote cloture on this bill.”
NELSON: “That’s correct. On cloture on the motion to end debate. I voted for cloture on the motion to begin debate and I said at the time, and I’m following through on that, if … it’s not at the point where I think it needs to be with the improvements that I’m pushing, and they’ve made a lot of them, then I will not vote for cloture on the motion to end debate.”
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