Breaking News: Nelson backpedals, abandons Stupak Amendment

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for breaking.jpgNot good, from CNN, November 16:

Sen. Ben Nelson, D-NE, who last week insisted that the Senate health care bill include tight restrictions passed by the House on the use of federal money for abortion coverage, now says he would be satisfied with the less restrictive language approved by the Senate Finance Committee....

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Nelson's position is apt to help Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, who is trying to cobble together a health care bill - which is full of policy mine fields such as abortion - without losing the support of any Democrats, many of whom support abortion rights, while others, like Nelson, do not.

At issue is whether federal money that is used to subsidize health insurance premiums can be separated from private funds to pay for abortions. In the Senate language, that would be allowed. In the House language, it would not.

Nelson said his position has been consistent, but said he misunderstood a reporter's question on the issue last week.

Here's what Nelson said last week, according to ABC News:

Unless the Senate bill includes a similar provision, Nelson said, he'll vote against it.

"Federal taxpayer money ought not to be used to fund abortions," Nelson said. "So whether it is subsidies on premiums or whether it is tax credits or whatever it is... it should not be used to fund abortions."

Seems to me Nelson had a clear understanding last week. This week he's been threatened or bought off.

According to Wikipedia:

Nelson is 1 of 4 self-described pro-life Democrats in the Senate. Nelson is a member of the Democrats for Life of America.... In the 2006 election, Nelson was endorsed by Nebraska Right to Life and Nebraskans United for Life - the 2 largest pro-life organizations in the state.

These groups and pro-life Nebraskans better get on the horn to Nelson. Looks like he's defecting.

Read the backstory on the importance of Nelson's support of the Stupak/PItts Amendment here.

Nelson's a Methodist, btw.


I wonder what the quid was for the pro quo.

Posted by: Wanda Hartman at November 17, 2009 11:59 AM

That is just what Bart Gordon (D) of TN said. He first voted for Stupak and then cast a deciding vote against it in committee. Pounded in town hall meetings he said he misunderstood the bill the first time around. Constituents pounded him long and hard over that and in the end he voted on the floor for Stupak. So Nebraska get ready to pound long, hard and loud.

Posted by: Maria at November 17, 2009 1:01 PM

He's going to be FIRED by Pro Life Nebraska Next year. Interesting, he just sent me an email response a few days ago saying he's pro life, blah, blah, blah.........but I KNEW when he endorsed president o-bortion, we were doomed.

Bye, Senator Nelson, in the words of Donald Trump:


Posted by: LizFromNebraska at November 17, 2009 2:10 PM

I just realized it won't be until 2012 that Nebraska can fire him..........UGH!

Posted by: LizFromNebraska at November 17, 2009 2:13 PM