Nelson: I’ll Filibuster A Health Care Bill That Doesn’t Include Strict Abortion Restrictions

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Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) wants Senate health care legislation to contain strict restrictions on abortion funding, much like the House bills now does. And he says he’ll filibuster if he doesn’t get his way.

“As a pro-life person, I believe that something like the [Rep. Bart] Stupak amendment should be included in the Senate version,” Nelson told reporters this evening. “But if it isn’t included to that effect, to make it clear that no government money should be used for support, for the subsidies, or direct payments, or even tax credits, should be used to support abortions,” he will oppose it.

“If it doesn’t make it clear that it does not support abortion, does not pay for abortion, you can be sure I will vote against it.”

I asked Nelson if his promise extended to procedural supermajority votes. He had a one word answer: “Yes.”To be clear, he did not go so far as to say that he will block anything less restrictive than the Stupak amendment in the House bill. “The [less-restrictive] Capps language, we’ll continue to look at, but I think that there has to be some additional strengthening of that language,” Nelson said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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 brian@talkingpointsmemo.com

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