Sen. Ben Nelson: I will not vote to end the filibuster
Everyone in the country closely following the ObamaCare saga have been waiting for Senator Nelson (D-NE) to give us a sense of where he is on the bill since his abortion restriction amendment failed last week.
Yesterday, Senator Nelson — a long time pro-lifer — said:
“I can’t support cloture [ending the filibuster] on the next round,”
and that adds a second large monkey wrench in the Senate ObamaCare gears.
Monkey-wrench number one is the public option.
Monkey-wrench number two is Nelson’s statement above.
Monkey-wrench number three is any number of things that could rise to the level of a monkey-wrench, but are still in the small household pliers category. (The drug re-importation issue seems to be growing out of the pliers stage and into the monkey-wrench category.)
If Senator Nelson keeps his word, then there are now two Senators, independent Lieberman and democratic Nelson who are at no on the cloture vote — who have publicly announced they are at no.
On the cloture vote on the motion to proceed, Senator Nelson never said he would vote no prior to the vote. But he is saying he will vote no now, if the bill is not changed. And since it takes 60 votes to change the bill, and Senator Nelson’s changes have already been defeated, then we know the outcome of the cloture vote for Nelson — NO.
The same goes for Senator Lieberman — since it seems Senator Reid’s vapor deal is evaporating — it is likely that the Dems cannot change the bill to remove the public option to get Lieberman’s vote, and keep the other 59 Democratic Senators on board. This means, like Senator Nelson, no changes to the bill means Lieberman is at NO on cloture (ending the filibuster) too.