Politico reported this morning…
It had all come down to abortion.
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), the last Democratic holdout on health care, excused himself for a tense phone call with a NE anti-abortion activist. But what was supposed to be a short break in the negotiations Friday night turned into a 90-minute nail-biter….
With less than 12 hours until Majority Leader Harry Reid needed to introduce the revised bill, the chief domestic policy priority of the White House and Congress was still wobbling on the brink of collapse….
Soon enough, Nelson walked through the doors.
“We can live with this,” he announced to the group.
And with that, Reid secured the 60th vote for the most sweeping social legislation in decades, all but assuring passage in the Senate this week….
“We can live with this.” Glad he can. Ironic words since he was in the process of wheeling and dealing away the lives of preborn babies. PATHETIC.
So here’s what was really going on during some part of those 90 minutes, from a press release yesterday by NE Right to Life, per Julie Schmit-Albin (pictured below left), Executive Director, the “anti-abortion activist” to whom Nelson was speaking:
Sen. Nelson and his Chief of Staff, Tim Becker, called me last night at 7:30p CST as a matter of “courtesy,” to let me know he was pitching alternative language to Democratic leadership. We spoke for about 40 minutes….
When I asked them at the outset of the conversation to include National Right to Life in the call they declined and said that they were going with the language.
Sen. Nelson claimed their newly-drafted concepts/language was Stupak-plus and that it would pass pro-life muster. When I countered that we had no assurance of that because we were not allowed to review the language, I was reminded that this was merely a courtesy call, not a call for our input or approval.
There is no pro-life Nebraskan more devastated by Sen. Nelson’s actions than myself. I have defended his record to Nebraskans and believed he would stand on pro-life principles as he has on numerous occasions in the past.
I have had a good relationship with Sen. Nelson and his staff throughout the years . I personally met with him on healthcare in July and in mid-November and have been in frequent contact with his staff over the past 6 weeks. Just Wednesday afternoon, I was apprised of the Casey language by his staff, and I urged them to strongly relay to him that we could not support it. When he rejected the Casey language we were bolstered by that action and believed he would hold firm to his commitment to vote against cloture if Stupak language was not included.
Moreover, NRL Political Action Committee gave Sen. Nelson a sole endorsement in his re-election race in 2006 based on his record and actions both as governor and senator. It is a very sobering day for myself personally and for pro-lifers across NE and the nation. Sen. Nelson obliterated the hope of pro-life Americans who saw him as the last man standing between expansion of government funding of abortion and the Hyde Amendment.
NE RTL follows the lead of National Right to Life in opposing the passage of healthcare legislation containing such bogus abortion language….
As a matter of fact, if the Politico story is accurate – and I think it is – it was not Nelson who “pitched” compromise healthcare abortion language to pro-abort Sens. Reid, Shumer, and Boxer.
It was vice versa, and they sweetened their public-funded abortion pot with financial goodies until Nelson finally sold his moral resolve.
[Photo of Nelson via the Associated Press; photo of Schmit-Albin via the JournalStar.com]