From Talking Points Memo, December 8:
After his abortion amendment did not win the day on the Senate floor, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) did not come out swinging. Though he insisted that the failure of his abortion amendment "makes it harder to be supportive" of Senate health care bill, he did not reiterate his pledge to filibuster the bill.
"We'll just have to see what develops," Nelson told reporters. "I have no plan B."...
That allows him substantial wiggle room, if he ultimately decides not to defect from the health care bill, and indeed, after the vote Nelson returned to private negotiations with liberals and other conservative Democrats over the public option.
He's not a firm no vote just yet.
"Not at this point in time. I want to continue to work on the [public option compromise] to see if that can improve the bill from my perspective."
Friend Connie emailed:
Contrast that to his earlier unequivocal statements that he would vote against final cloture if the Reid Bill were not amended to fix the abortion problem...
When Nelson announced his decision to vote in favor of cloture on the motion to proceed to the Reid bill he said: "I support parts of the bill and oppose others I will work to fix. If that's not possible, I will oppose the second cloture motion - needing 60 votes - to end debate, and oppose the final bill." When Nelson announced he would introduce an anti-abortion amendment, he said: "It [the amendment] is Stupak language," Nelson said. "I've said at the end of the day if it doesn't have Stupak language on abortion in it I won't vote to move it off the floor." Before Nelson announced how he would vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to the Reid Bill, he responded to a reporter's question asking if he could support a bill without that [Stupak] specific abortion clause: "I can't imagine that I would."
Now is the time for anti-abortion groups and other opponents of ObamaCare to unite in an unrelenting campaign to make political extinction the price of Ben Nelson's going back on his word to vote "no" on cloture on the Reid Bill if it is not amended to prohibit the use of federal funds and subsidies for abortion.
All groups should begin demanding immediately that Nelson clarify his intentions and not allow him any wiggle room.
We will just have to keep the pressure on. The worse thing would be to succumb to the defeatist, it won't do any good to contact him attitude. At least with Nelson there is a glimmer of hope. Imagine what it is like here in Illinois with Dick Turbin and Rollie "I did not buy the seat" Burris. Nevertheless, we try.Posted by: Jerry at December 9, 2009 7:52 PM
This sounds like the old Democratic shell game to me. Can you really find a Democrat who is truly pro-life.? How long will it take, how much pressure will it take and how much money will it take in a bribe for Nelson and the other so-called pro-life DemocRATS to fold under the pressure of Harry Reid, Obama and the Dead Babies R Us crew? God help this nation. This bill is not about healthcare, helping the poor or the uninsured it is about POWER, CONTROL, CONTROLLING 1/6TH OF THE US ECONOMY, TRANSFORMING AMERICA TO SOCIALISM, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, THE POWER OF LIFE AND DEATH OVER AMERICAN CITIZENS, AND ABORTION ON DEMAND. Bill O'Reilly did a good opening "Talking Points" tonight about this healthcare bill where he explains why the liberal left ideologues want control of the healthcare system, I don't always agree with him but he has this one right on the money and I do mean money. Jill thatPosted by: Prolifer L at December 9, 2009 7:58 PM
I meant to say at the end of my post, Jill that it may be a good tape to post on this blog, today's Talking Points by Bill O'Reilly. Although he does not mention the pro-abortion angle. Just an idea.Posted by: Prolifer L at December 9, 2009 8:03 PM
Another headline suggestion:
Nelson wiggles on healthcare filibuster - is he beginning to SEE the LIGHT!!?Posted by: chuck at December 10, 2009 6:43 AM
I would not make too much of it. Nelson is trying to get other things in the bill in case it passes, including better conscience protection. He loses any leverage if he declares outright now that he will filibuster. He's playing this right so far.Posted by: ryder at December 10, 2009 11:33 AM