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]
Disgusting.Posted by: Lauren at December 20, 2009 4:30 PM
Ben must be short for Benedict.
I noticed that one of the kickbacks he received from Obama in terms of a Medicaid extension was only for Nebraskans and Michiganders.
An early payoff for Stupak?
I guess we're about to find out if Bart has any character or integrity. He said he had the votes to kill the bill if the language wasn't right...Posted by: Ed at December 20, 2009 4:36 PM
Ed, at this point I have very little faith in Stupak. I've been burned too many times by these supposedly "pro-life" democrats. I can only pray that he'll hold strong, but I'm not holding my breath.Posted by: Lauren at December 20, 2009 4:44 PM
The whole Democrat health care bill has been radical from the beginning with radicals holding all the power behind it. And while I agree in principle with right-to-life people emphasizing a pro-life plank in the miserable bill, it has been my own opinion from the beginning of this radical cultural, moral and political onslaught that the pro-life movement was playing with fire in thinking that those in power would ever honor
a pro-life clause in the health care bill. Sooner or later they were going to abolish the pro-life restraints. They are doing it sooner with the sell out, under pressure, of professing Democrat politicans. We must, of course, continue to oppose and expose the pro-abortion, anti-life features of the bill. Beyond that, I think the entire philosophy and political agenda of the bill is destructive to morals, culture, genuine freedom, financial stability and ultimately our very physical health and well being.
Calm down, folks. Big Ben is always for sale to the highest bidder, and you won't know where he stands on anything until the bidding is over, like his buddy Lieberman.
My bet is that since Big Ben has already sold his soul to the health insurance companies, they will win his vote in the end.Posted by: Bystander at December 20, 2009 5:44 PM
Nelson will have to answer one day to a much higher authority.
This old codger, who look likes he's got one foot in the grave, just showed how foolish he is in exchanging the temporal for the eternal.
May God deal with Mr. Nelson as only God can.
30For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"and again, "The Lord will judge his people." 31It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Can he live with this? Glad he can but how many will die because of his betrayal. I wonder how he can look himself in the mirror.Posted by: maria at December 20, 2009 7:42 PM
A friend blessed me with this song tonight so, I'll pass it along. Peace.
If we all would just follow the example of our Lord, an abortion would never be considered to be a solution.Posted by: Phil Schembri is Hisman at December 20, 2009 8:49 PM
I do hope this works out well for him. (Said tongue in cheek, as I believe this will bother his conscience for some time to come. I will be praying for him!) As a mother of a child with special needs, I believe whole heartedly in the services that come to many families from Medicaid and Medicare. Sadly, it should not take selling one man's soul for him to be able to provide for the less vulnerable. So children now must die, so that others may have the services they need? Lord have mercy on us!Posted by: IDSC For Life at December 20, 2009 9:19 PM
RedState has something interesting to say on Ben Nelson:
"Under Nelson’s compromise, abortion access will fluctuate based on who the President is. A pro-life President will have the power to make it more difficult. A pro-death President like Barack Obama will make it exceedingly easy. The only constant will be federal abortion funding for Indians."
The Nelson sellout targets Native American babies? Who else will they make expendable for political payoffs?Posted by: Fed Up at December 20, 2009 9:59 PM
"So children now must die, so that others may have the services they need? Lord have mercy on us!"
No, but this is the false dichotomy presented to us. I too have a special needs child-a son with autism. This is politicians holding a gun to our children's heads and forcing a Sophie's Choice (If you recall the movie with Meryl Streep). Then we're supposed to eat our hearts out at having consigned one group or the other to oblivion.
Make no mistake, it is the politician who has set the rules of the game and predetermined that one group or the other will suffer. We must exact retributive justice by voting them out of office.Posted by: Gerard Nadal at December 20, 2009 10:04 PM
I would add, Gerard, that those who will replace these sellouts will run on a platform of repealing the legislation.Posted by: carder at December 20, 2009 10:46 PM
Nelson, Stupak, and almost the whole lot of so-called pro-life politicians sold out on preborn babies long ago in agreeing to fund the murders of babies conceived in rape, incest, and for risk to the mother. Now, add Indian babies to the list. No surprise, here. Anyone willing to pay for the murder of even one preborn baby has problems with discrimination.
So, now it's one more group of babies discriminated against. Well, let's look on the bright side, they'll only agree to pay to murder babies conceived in rape, incest, or for risk to the mother, or Indian babies. The majority will not be funded though, so we should be thankful, right? (sarcasm off)Posted by: No_exceptions at December 20, 2009 10:47 PM
Put not your faith in men, for they are ... human.Posted by: Andy at December 21, 2009 2:11 AM
well they can LIVE with this but they will DIE with this on their souls.
any Catholic politician who votes for this funding of abortion should be excommunicated
either you are prolife or you are not
either you are for Christ or you are not.
If you are not, you are for the devil.
He is guilty of "wheeling and dealing away the lives of pre-born babies?"
That is just wrong. It is always wrong. No one has the authority to trade in human lives, some for others, like that.Posted by: Jamie Schofield at December 21, 2009 4:08 PM
Ed, Lauren, Jill,
Where is the provision providing the Medicaid cost constraint for Nebraska AND Michigan? If it is so blunt we all must do one major thing in addition to praying and that is to organize pressure FROM THE GRASSROOTS AT HOME on every representative who voted for both Stupak-Pitts and the final bill in the House. If 4 out of 42 (41 Democrats plus Republican Cao) would have the character to make a principled stand for life the bill would likely go down in the House. This will need to be done anyway, but the need is all the more urgent if the Senate bill incorporates their effort to bribe Stupak on its face.
Above all we must PRAY, PRAY, and PRAY some more.Posted by: John-in-Oak Lawn at December 21, 2009 7:26 PM
Christians will deal with this in the most peaceful ways,vote them out of office!and don't ever think for a minute that your silence or inaction will free you from this heinous crime..The murder of the young.
What kind of government that gives monies for the killing of the unborn? What king of government that gives monies for the killing of the aged?
Body parts from human fetuses?
Well, I guess elections do have consequences after all. While there is surely plenty of culpability in the actions and moral vacume of our nations "leaders" we must remember who gave them the authority to do what they are now doing. Probably most readers here did not vote for this agenda, but what about your neighborhood? The roots of this holocaust begins in our own neighborhoods, let's not forget how important prayer and action is needed not only in Washington but throughout our land.