Senate votes down Nelson/Hatch amendment

Last night the U.S. Senate voted 54-45 to table the pro-life amendment to the health care bill, the Nelson/Hatch amendment.  The amendment was patterned after the Stupak-Pitts amendment to the U.S. House health care bill.  The vote last night was to table the amendment and both Kohl and Feingold voted to table, this despite Sen. Kohl’s statement that he would not support a health care bill that funded abortion with federal tax dollars.

Click here to see the roll call. Seven Democrats voted in favor of the amendment, and one Republican voted against it (Olympia Snowe–ME).  As one Senator put it, the situation was effectively a zero sum game.  If the Senate approved the amendment, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) would have had some difficulty mustering desperately needed votes from his more radical, pro-abortion Senators who refuse to pass a health care bill that does not publicly fund abortion.

Since the Senate has defeated the pro-life amendment, the Senate version of the health care bill allows for the public funding of abortion.  Now Sen. Reid faces possible mutiny from his moderate or pro-life Democratic Senators who will not vote for an abortion-funding health care bill.  Reid needs 60 votes to pass the health care bill and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), author of the defeated pro-life amendment, is threatening to filibuster the health care bill.  Reid’s Senate may be at an impasse on this health care bill–we can only hope.

Your Action Needed
It’s time to call our WI U.S. Senators and urge them to vote NO on cloture and defeat the abortion-funding health care bill.

  • Senator Herb Kohl’s number is 202-224-5653.
  • Senator Russ Feingold’s number is 202-224-5323.

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