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Senate Dems. jump off the healthcare bandwagon
By Matthew Clemente on November 11, 2009
In what ABC News is calling "a warning sign for the White House," Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) revealed that he will refuse to vote for the type of reform bill that was pushed through the House by a party-line vote. In an interview with ABC's Jonathan Karl, Nelson criticized Nancy Pelosi's proposed takeover of the healthcare system:
Well, first of all, it has more than a robust public option, it's got a totally government-run plan, the costs are extraordinary associated with it, it increases taxes in a way that will not pass in the Senate and I could go on and on and on...
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) recently filed a motion to introduce the 1,990 page House bill to the Senate on Monday, November 16. Nelson, however, says he will join the 39 House Democrats who broke ranks and voted against Pelosi's plan:
Faced with a decision about whether or not to move a bill that is bad, I won't vote to move it, for sure.
In his mind, a good bill is a bill that:
[D]oesn't add to the deficit, that it doesn't increase taxes, and that does, in fact, control the growth in costs.
Democrat proposals fail this test.
Losing Nelson's support will greatly impact Majority Leader Reid's plan to pass reform by Christmas. He is currently struggling to garner support for his proposal. With Senator Joe Lieberman's (I-CT) announcement that he will not vote for a bill that includes a public option, Reid continues to face obstacles in securing the 60 votes needed to pass reform.