Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad said on Thursday that he wasn’t yet sure whether Harry Reid’s Senate bill prevents taxpayer dollars from covering abortions, and acknowledged that it was an “open question” whether there were enough votes to pass the bill.
“I don’t think this will pass unless you can assure people taxpayer funds are not being used to fund abortion,” Conrad said in an interview on Fox News. “That is the current law of the land, as you know, with the Hyde amendment. And whether or not Sen. Reid’s formulation accomplishes that, I do not yet know. We are studying that language right now to try to determine whether it accomplishes that goal.”
He also said that the bill was likely to get to the Senate floor, but that it was unclear whether it would ultimately pass.
“The first vote will be to go to a debate on the proposal, to offer amendments, to be able to improve it,” Conrad said. “I think we will get 60 votes to go to it, then the question is, what will happen in the amendment process? Will the package be altered in a way that can command 60 votes? That I think is an open question.”
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