Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Senators on ObamaCare

cross-posted from A Catholic View

Call Your Senators today!

The Lieberman Pincer: Key Senator "Ready" to Vote for Healthcare under New Deal

Furious backroom negotiations and last-minute deals are putting enormous pressure on two key Democratic senators to end their opposition to health care reform and pass the Senate version by President Barack Obama's Christmas deadline. Both Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) are the last public non-GOP holdouts to the current Senate legislation, but the latter has indicated he is now "ready" to vote for health care reform if Senate Democrats follow through on a deal that eliminates the government-insurance mandate.

Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Democratic leaders signaled they would drop entirely the public option and the Medicare buy-in as part of a deal to get Lieberman's vote.

Bob Casey Will Likely Back Senate Health Care Bill Despite Abortion Funding

Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, who claims to be one of two pro-life Democrats in the Senate, made it appear today that he will likely vote for the Senate's government-run health care bill. He would do so despite the massive abortion funding found in the bill that could result in tax-funding of hundreds of thousands of abortions.

Casey voted for the Nelson amendment to remove the abortion funding, but said today after a White House meeting with President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats that the process needs to move forward.

Casey did not directly say he would vote for the bill, but his comments were the most forward-looking yet in terms of him giving an indication of how he will vote.

Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson Says He Does Not Back Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill

Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson is holding out against the Senate health care bill because it funds abortions.

Nelson has pledged to filibuster the bill if his demand to remove the massive abortion funding, which could lead to tax-funding of hundreds of thousands of abortions, is not removed from the bill.

He sponsored an amendment to do that, but the Senate defeated it.

In recent comments, Nelson remains firm on wanting the abortion funding removed and his commitment to filibuster if that doesn't happen.

"I'm not blockheaded and I'm not stubborn," Nelson said in an interview on Monday with the Associated Press. "I've carved out what I can live with and what I can't live with."

"I can't get there [to vote for the bill without the abortion funding ban]," he said.

Roland Burris May Put Kink in Obama-Democrats' Plan for 60 Votes on Health Care

On a day when Democrats emerged triumphantly from a meeting with President Barack Obama appearing to have won the vote of Joe Lieberman for their pro-abortion health care bill, they may not be ready to celebrate yet. The Lieberman vote appeared to allow Democrats and Obama to secure 59 votes.

The only holdout left appeared to be pro-life Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska who says he won't vote for the bill because it funds abortions.

Political observers need to hang on to their hats because pro-abortion Sen. Rolland Burris of Illinois, ironically the lawmakers appointed to take Obama's seat until the next election, may throw the Senate for a loop.

Burris says that now that the public option has been emaciated to get Lieberman's support, he may very well vote no on the bill.