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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dem Sen. Ben Nelson Reportedly Gives in to Pressure; Will Vote For Senate Health Care Bill

Nebraska Democrat Sen. Ben Nelson has reportedly cracked under pressure, and will vote for the Senate Health Care Bill, giving Democrats their crucial 60th vote needed to cut off debate and move to final passage. It appears they worked out a deal with Nelson to his suiting on abortion funding:

U.S. Senate Democrats said they reached agreement on an abortion compromise with a crucial holdout, Senator Ben Nelson, on Saturday in a deal that could clear the way for passage of a sweeping healthcare overhaul.

Democratic senators and aides said a long day of negotiating on Friday concluded with agreement on language that resolves Nelson's concerns that federal funds are not used to pay for abortions under the bill.

Nelson, potentially the crucial 60th vote for the bill, would vote with Democrats to cut off debate and move to final passage, according to Democratic Senator Charles Schumer and Democratic Senate aides. He planned to make a statement later in the morning.

"There were lots of fits and starts," said Schumer, who said there were 13 hours of negotiations on Friday. "He is in agreement."

Nelson will vote to cut off debate in the first of a series of crucial procedural votes scheduled to begin at 1 a.m. (0600 GMT) on Monday and could possibly conclude with final passage on Christmas Eve of President Barack Obama's top legislative priority. . . . MORE


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