Bad: Ben Nelson to vote YES on cloture tonight

ben nelson, filibuster, abortion, healthcare.jpgBefore I get to yesterday’s statement by pro-life Democrat Sen. Ben Nelson, from NE, a reminder that over 97% of bills approved for cloture (stop filibuster and allow debate) eventually pass. 60 votes are required for cloture but only 50 to pass a bill. Also read this excerpt from a statement by GOP Sen. Jim Demint of SC

But don’t be fooled by senators that will say they oppose a government takeover but just wanted to allow debate on health care, they are not being honest.
The simple fact is this: Any senator that votes to proceed to the Reid-Obama bill is voting for a government takeover of health care.
Why? Because, President Obama and Harry Reid cannot pass a government takeover without clearing 60 vote procedural hurdles in the Senate – but they also know that vulnerable Democrats likely cannot win reelection if they vote for this unpopular bill. So they want all Democrats to stick together on the vote to proceed, then some Democrats will vote against final passage of the bill and claim they tried to stop it….
Don’t let them vote for a government takeover of health care before they vote against it. The “vote to proceed” to Obamacare may be one of the most important votes any Senator takes.

Now Nelson’s statement:

Today, NE’s Senator Ben Nelson announced that he will vote for the motion to proceed to debate health care reform on the Senate floor and issued this statement….
“This weekend, I will vote for the motion to proceed to bring that debate onto the Senate floor. The Senate should start trying to fix a health care system that costs too much and delivers too little for Nebraskans.
“Throughout my Senate career I have consistently rejected efforts to obstruct. That’s what the vote on the motion to proceed is all about.
“It is not for or against the new Senate health care bill released Wednesday.
“It is only to begin debate and an opportunity to make improvements. If you don’t like a bill why block your own opportunity to amend it?
“As we have seen before, obstructionists are inviting a move toward reconciliation by opposing this first procedural vote. Let’s be clear. That route shrinks debate and amendments, eliminates bipartisanship and needs only 50 votes to pass a bill….
“In my 1st reading, I support parts of the bill and oppose others I will work to fix. If that’s not possible, I will oppose the 2nd cloture motion – needing 60 votes – to end debate, and oppose the final bill….

Here’s more on what Nelson meant by that last statement.
And about those 2nd 60 votes explains (and I don’t even pretend to fully understand this)…

On Saturday night at 8 pm ET, the Senate is scheduled to vote on defeating a filibuster of debating the shell bill, a motion also known as invoking “cloture.” That vote require a 3/5 majority (60 affirmative votes) to pass.
If it passes, Senate Republicans can then force Democrats to wait 30 hours before the Senate can hold a simple up-or-down vote on actually proceeding to debate the shell bill.
If cloture is invoked on Saturday night, that would put the up-or-down vote on proceeding to the bill on Monday morning at the earliest, though the Senate is currently scheduled to be on Thanksgiving recess then.
Once the motion to proceed has finally been approved, Senate Democrats will then move to defeat a 2nd filibuster of considering the bill. This one will actually be on the text of the health care bill, in the form of a substitute amendment. Democrats will again have to find 60 votes just to proceed to an up-or-down vote on replacing the text of the shell bill with the health care text.
That 2nd cloture vote will most likely happen on November 30, when the Senate returns from recess. Once it passes, it would set up another up-or-down vote on December 1st to begin debate of the health care bill text proper.
At that point comes the amendment process and, eventually, votes to end debate and pass the bill, which could possibly happen before Christmas but could also drag into 2010.
This Saturday’s vote is crucial. If it doesn’t pass, the health care reform effort will falter in a major way. Senate Democrats would be back to the drawing board to draft an entirely new bill designed to attract more votes.
But if Saturday’s vote is successful, the bill moves forward to amendment and likely to passage. The Congressional Research Service recently found that 97.6% of all bills that have cloture invoked on a motion to proceed are eventually given final approval by the chamber.

[HT for DeMint statement: St. Michael’s Society; photo via Talking Points Memo]

46 thoughts on “Bad: Ben Nelson to vote YES on cloture tonight”

  1. I don’t know what to think. Unfortunately, the director of our state Right to Life group (the state affiliate of National Right to Life) says don’t believe the news stories, he’s pro life, blah, blah, blah……..but honestly I think she’s fallen for his lies. Ben Nelson IS a Benedict Arnold to the Pro Life nebraskans that voted for him. I didn’t last election, I voted for the other guy. I just wish Nebraska could FIRE him NEXT YEAR.

  2. Despite all their posturings, Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu are first and foremost Democrats. That says it all.
    Rush compares Democrats to suicide bombers. They are committing political suicide and taking the American people with them.
    Good grief it reminds me of cultists who follow their “messiah” to their deaths. Are they so blind to this man and what he is doing to them?

  3. Gee, Maria, it seems like just yesterday that I was roundly criticized on this blog for pointing out that Nelson, like his identical twin Lieberman, always do a Hamlet act until someone gets out the checkbook to buy their votes.
    Oh, that is right, it WAS yesterday.
    I am also pleased that the abortion ruse has been dropped, and it is clear that the religious far right has joined with the GOP to protect the profits of the health insurance companies.

  4. Bystander,
    Well, they are after all Democrats so certainly no surprise there.
    Oh, and did you read on the other thread about the 875,000 Canadians on waiting lists to see specialists and for medical procedures?
    How about British women with breast cancer who were denied access to a life saving drug because a gov’t panel deemed it too expensive? Tough toenails ladies.
    Also, are you aware the Canadian gov’t contracted with U.S. border hospitals, including those in Detroit, to provide services to Canadians the wonderful Canadian health care system can’t provide themselves.
    Ya can’t beat gov’t run health care for compassion and efficiency.

  5. Obama the master sociopath. He manipulates those around him to do his bidding, people are ready to destroy themselves for him, he leaves a path of destruction, and yet they continue to worship him.
    History repeats itself again and again.

  6. Hey bystander,
    What do you think of Dirty Harry bribing Mary Landrieu with 100 million of YOUR tax dollars? Unless you’re living in the state of Louisiana and are on medicare, you can’t be too thrilled.

  7. Hey Phil,
    I say a resounding AMEN to that!!
    Generosity with other people’s money. It doesn’t get any better than that.

  8. This is all so disheartening, but we must have hope. If you have time, rent the movie “A Man for All Seasons” this weekend for a look at the life of a truly great lawyer and politician, Sir Thomas More. (More is the patron saint of lawyers and politicians.)
    St. Thomas More Prayer
    “Lord, grant that I may be able in argument,
    accurate in analysis,
    strict in study,
    candid with clients,
    and honest with adversaries.
    Sit with me at my desk
    and listen with me to my client’s plaints,
    read with me in my library,
    and stand beside me in court,
    so that today I shall not,
    in order to win a point
    lose my soul.”
    Inspired by St. Thomas More © 1998-99,
    The University of Detroit Mercy

  9. Mary, once again I suggest you go cold turkey from Rush and Fox News for 30 days. You might be amazed what you might learn if you stopped absorbing far right wing propaganda 24/7. Everything you have ever posted is a recycled Fox News/Rush/Beck/far right wing talking point.
    BTW Nelson and Lieberman have been bought by the health insurance lobby. They may be crooks, but they are on your side.

  10. A few days ago I received an email from Ben Nelson with the following quote:
    “I will be looking for a plan providing American families with reliable and secure health care, one which stresses prevention and wellness and improves quality in the delivery of health care services, while not raising taxes, increasing the deficit, rationing care, or funding abortions.”
    This bill goes against those statmenets and against the philosophy of the majority of Nebraskans. I say “SHAME ON YOU BEN NELSON…WE WILL NOT FORGET YOUR FLIP FLOPPING!

  11. I just read that the senate will have the 60 votes needed. Blance Lincoln just caved and Mary Landrieu did as well. I know that’s a big shock.
    Can we say $100,000,000?
    The ladies decided to vote with their Party. Oh??
    I thought you were elected to represent your constituents, not vote with your Party. I understand the people of Arkansas, who Lincoln supposedly represents oppose this by a majority.
    Well, that’s beside the point.

  12. Obama is going to takefrom people with disabilitiesThis means, I will loose my thirapy, and other blind people, will loose their vocational rehabilitation services! Obama, and read don’t care about the comon man. I have thirapy do to CP.

  13. Mary, Louisiana needed that money anyway.
    Posted by: Hal at November 21, 2009 10:19 AM
    Would LOVE to see what Louisiana did with all that money donated to them from around the world!

  14. BS’er,
    Your ‘cut n paste’ pablum is getting pretty stale.
    Suggest you invest in a thesaurus and try to at least find some different words to repeat your leftist leavings.
    BS’er holding bandaged broken hand in front of her/his/it’s face and challenging her detractors to hit it as hard as they can.
    BS’er are you a ‘stereotypical blonde’ or do you bleach?
    yor bro ken

  15. I guess Democrats for Life doesn’t have ANY power in the Senate. Is it strictly a House based oragnization? My take is that MOST of the Dems for life would sell out in a heartbeat and they only represent themselves as pro-life cause they are voted in by a majority of pro-life constituents. If this weasel was truly against federal tax dollars being used to pay for abortion he would demand the Stupak amendment be adopted NOW while they have the clout to force it in. This proves beyond a doubt that Most Dem’s for life are pro-life in name only. This a-hole and Harry are leaders of Dem’s for life in the senate…what a frickin mockery. In my eyes they are worse then Cecile Richards cuase they pretend to be pro-life.

  16. Mary, the “issue” is that the Dems, with a few exceptions, are on the side of the voters, who want health care reform. The Republicans, with no exceptions, are in the pocket of the health insurance companies, and don’t care a bit what the voters want, so they will pay in 2010.
    If it takes some arm-twisting to get weaklings like Landrieu and Lincoln on the side of health care reform, so be it. Politics.

  17. I’m hanging on to the optimism thread here. The Dems would be foolish to not allow this to go to debate. I think that most Americans do want health-care reform. If these Senators want to be re-elected, they have to show that they tried to do something to fix it.
    As Jill stated,
    “Before I get to yesterday’s statement by pro-life Democrat Sen. Ben Nelson, from NE, a reminder that over 97% of bills approved for cloture (stop filibuster and allow debate) eventually pass.”
    Yes, but this one is really, really big. Most Americans don’t want this bill the way it is now. The Senators know this and want their votes to be re-elected (coming really, really soon, btw). Again, they have to appease all voters and at least try. I’m holding on to hope that this will be one of the 3% that will not…at least the way it is now.

  18. If it takes some arm-twisting to get weaklings like Landrieu and Lincoln on the side of health care reform, so be it. Politics.
    Posted by: Bystander at November 21, 2009 4:10
    But Bystander, Obama promised that it wouldn’t be politics as usual, but no one thought that meant politics would be worse than usual. (well, we did, but you naive folks who voted for him sure didn’t!)

  19. Bystander,
    Care to share some stats supporting your assertion that “voters want health care reform?” Because most of the polls I’ve seen lately indicate just the opposite. I’m curious to know what you base this opinion on.

  20. Marie,
    16 of the 25 Catholic Democratic senators voted against their bishops wishes and overturned Bush’s Mexico City policy (barring US funds from funding institutions abroad that commit abortion) when Obama got elected. That might leave nine with enough conscience to vote against their tax-dollars being used to fund abortion. I am not sure if the Senate make-up has changed since then and that would leave us counting on one other non-Catholic Democrat with a conscience for the unborn. Or possibly who insists that some other provision be removed like the entire government option cause they are fiscally responsible.

  21. Marie, you are right about holding on to optimism. And I apologize to Ben Nelson for calling him an a-hole when I don’t know the man;s personal reasons for voting the way he does.
    I know Nelson has said he favors an amendment with language similar to the Stupak amendment? Is he considering proposing such an amendment?

  22. The Republicans, with no exceptions, are in the pocket of the health insurance companies–bystander

    The Democrats are in much deeper if you follow the money trail. Maybe little graphics are easier for you to comprehend, bystander?

    The trend of insurance companies contributing more money to Republicans than Democrats
    reversed in the 2008 election cycle. See for yourself who got insurance money in the

    and the

    during the 2008 cycle. Who’s at the top of the senate list, bystander, with more than twice the amount of insurance money than any other politician?

    And here’s the 2010 data, showing the

    Top 20 Senators

    Top 20 Members of the House
    who receive contributions from the industry you claim to loathe. Who’s #3 on the senate list, bystander?

  23. Fed Up, looks like your buddies in the health insurance industry aren’t getting their money’s worth LOL. Of course those contributions were intended to influence against health care reform, and so far have not been terribly successful. I am sure they will keep trying to protect their trillions in profits made by denying coverage.
    I do not “claim” to loathe them, I loathe them.
    Off to celebrate the cloture vote…

  24. “16 of the 25 Catholic Democratic senators voted against their bishops wishes and overturned Bush’s Mexico City policy (barring US funds from funding institutions abroad that commit abortion) when Obama got elected. That might leave nine with enough conscience to vote against their tax-dollars being used to fund abortion.”
    Posted by: truthseeker at November 21, 2009 4:42 PM
    Truthseeker, This shouldn’t surprise you. The Bible talks alot about temptation.
    These two verse come to mind in light of your post:
    1 Timothy 6:9
    But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.
    Luke 8:13
    “Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.
    Respectively, I am not naive to think that every person in a Christian church has their name written in the Book of Life. Do you think every pew-dweller in the Catholic church does?

  25. sure, some may want health care reform, but not the kind that comes at the expense of the elderly, disabled and vulnerable unborn babies.

  26. Thanks Liz I totally agree. I know we need some changes in healthcare and I want to see people who truly need it helped, there are many good ways to do that. This bill is NOT about helping the poor or the uninsured, it is about POWER, CONTROL, CONTROL OF 1/6TH OF THE US ECONOMY, CONTROL OVER LIFE AND DEATH DECISIONS OF AMERICANS, SOCIALISM AND ABORTION ON DEMAND. God help this nation.

  27. Respectively, I am not naive to think that every person in a Christian church has their name written in the Book of Life. Do you think every pew-dweller in the Catholic church does?
    Posted by: Marie at November 21, 2009 5:48 PM
    No Marie, but being a “good” Catholic means learning and following the teachings of the Catholic church….catechism etc.. It has been my experience that the other Christian churches don’t stress obedience to the “Church’s” teaching so I think this applies more so to the Catholic faith then the other churches. Forming the conscience of the faithful is an integral role of the Catholic church.

  28. There will be one more time after Thanksgiving where the Senate will need 60 votes for this bill to proceed and Dem. senator Blanche Lincoln will NOT for any bill that contains a public option.

  29. Forming the conscience of the faithful is an integral role of the Catholic church.
    Posted by: truthseeker at November 21, 2009 7:28 PM
    How do they do that? And does that mean that people don’t have a conscience until it is formed by the Catholic church?

  30. There really is no such thing as a pro life Democrat. When it comes right down to it…. they cave to the Party of Death.
    Oh how I wish Senator DeMint was President DeMint!

  31. Marie, people have a conscience, but not necessarily a right or just conscience so we can’t just use our own “feelings” about things to judge right or wrong. If we just let our own feelings form our conscience, then we can do all kinds of wrong and think it is o.k. just cause it doesn’t bother us. For example, if we were to steal, or lie, or lust, or commit abortion over and over it would probably bother us less and less each time I repeated the sinful act. So the Church helps Catholics by teachings us doctrine of the Church which we can be confident helps us form a Christian conscience. I could probably explain it better if I prayed and studied the catechism on it for a while, and then answered, but that is the jist of it.

  32. Allow me to correct the erroneous assertions by some that this massive bill can now emerge from the Senate with only the support of a simple majority. In fact, there is at least one 60-vote hurdle in the bill’s future path, and probably more than one. Moreover, should a bill actually emerge from the Senate, it cannot be sent to the president unless and until a majority of the House of Representatives votes to pass exactly the same bill.
    Douglas Johnson
    Legislative Director
    National Right to Life Committee
    legfederal // at // aol-dot-com

  33. As ED of Nebraska Right to Life for 20 years I have worked with Ben Nelson throughout most of his political career, first as Governor and now as US Senator. Nebraska Right to Life PAC gave Sen. Nelson a sole endorsement when he ran as the incumbent for re-election in 2006. Consider what it takes to be a pro-life Dem in the Senate where you’re pretty much on your own (I’m not talking House where there are some actual numbers.) Sen. Nelson’s detractors always conveniently forget that he has a long history of pro-life voting, including voting to confirm Roberts and Alito to the Supreme Court and against embryonic stem cell research. Of course he has some votes where he left the pro-life position (Mexico City policy but then came back to us on it) but I will look at the totality of his actions and voting record before I’m ready to shove him off the plank. We are working with both of our US Senators, one a Dem and one a Republican, to ensure that Stupak language prevails in the Senate. The next weeks will be crucial and it’s important to not shut doors on folks who actually have a seat at the table and that, whether people like it or not, is Sen. Nelson.

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