The left-right-center squeeze is on. (See this post for the latest parade of liberal attacks on the bill.)
Now, Senator Ben Nelson has rejected the abortion "compromise" language. It's not just abortion either, Senator Nelson also cited other concerns he had with the legislation.
So, if you are counting Senators who are not YES votes, that count would be:
1. Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE)
2. Senator Burris (D-IL)
3. Senator Sanders (I-VT)
4. Senator Feingold (D-WI) -- from The Hill: The Wisconsin senator said he has not yet made a decision on whether to support the legislation. "I am not making a judgment until I see the CBO numbers and that's only the beginning."
5. Senator Webb (D-VA) -- "Webb wrote in an op-ed published in the Winchester Star on Wednesday that "I have yet to decide whether I will support final passage of the bill."
Who knows where Senator McCaskill (D-MO) is, she says she will decide based on the CBO score. Gee, I wonder how that will turn out? Senators Landrieu (D-LA) and Lincoln (D-AR) are both at Yes -- according to A1 Senate sources. The same sources say Senators Snowe and Collins are at No, a firm No.
However, the bottom line is this, Senator Reid does not have 60 votes. He cannot, therefore, have a vote on his hidden-not-yet-released-vapor-bill.
Senators Not-at-Yes matters because what the Senate ObamaCare bill has been doing for weeks is spinning-in-place.
And support has eroded, not strengthened as Senator Reid keeps trying new formulations to get to 60 votes. He never has had 60 votes for the bill (only 60 to proceed to consideration of it) and he may never get to 60 votes. I do not think he will ever have 60 votes.
So if you are Senator Reid, why have a vote just to lose it?
Especially when other No votes will start to show up on the floor once it is clear that 60 votes will not be achieved, since Senators know that Senator Reid and the President will not need their vote. These Senators would rather not get the earache (as in you are yelling in my ear) in their home state, so they would just vote No. It is the smart vote, since those voters who feel most passionately -- on the left and the right -- are at No, and so is the general public.
In short, not at Yes is the new No.
Here is how the Associated Press is reporting the not at Yes statement by Senator Ben Nelson: Associated Press:
"As it is, without modifications, the language concerning abortion is not sufficient," Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, a key holdout on the health care bill, said in a statement after first making his concerns known to Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
"Nelson said there were positive improvements dealing with teen pregnancy and adoption, and that he was open to further negotiations. But in a radio interview earlier in the day with KLIN in Lincoln, Nebraska, Nelson also said that abortion wasn't his only concern and he didn't see how the Christmas deadline was achievable.