Today, we may learn the answer to two very related, very important questions. First, what will Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) do if his abortion amendment fails? And second, if he decides he'll join a filibuster, what does that mean for the public option alternatives, currently under discussion. If he's out, then Democrats need both Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) to back whatever public option compromise emerges from meetings between conservative and liberal Democrats.
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This morning, Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), who's played a key role in these negotiations, told me and one other reporter, "Senator Lieberman and Senator Snowe have been very much involved in discussions not just with me but with a lot of folks on our side, and I'm sure on the Republican [side].... I think they're being very constructive."