Nelson Crafting Abortion Amendment ‘Nearly Identical’ To Stupak’s


If it seemed like the congressional row over abortion coverage in health care reform had ebbed, it was probably just an artifact of Thanksgiving recess. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) is charging ahead, and plans to introduce an amendment to the Senate health care bill in the spirit, if not the precise letter, of the controversial Stupak amendment.

“It’s as identical to Stupak as it can be,” Nelson told CongressDaily.

Senate experts will be unsurprised to hear that it will likely have the support of Pennsylvania Democrat Bob Casey.

“I think it’s likely to be one of the amendments we’ll vote on,” Casey said.

But it’s unlikely that such an amendment can pass without 60 votes, and without the support of more than a trivial number of Democrats, it’s hard to see how it can reach that threshold. Particularly if Maine Sens. Olympia Snowe and/or Susan Collins vote against it.


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at