In a recent column, I wrote: “A key procedural vote is coming — as early as Saturday — that will nevertheless be a moment of truth for pro-life Democrats like Ben Nelson. Do they stand with Harry Reid or Bart Stupak?” Nelson and the other pro-life Democrats failed that initial test, voting with Harry Reid to begin debate on health care legislation with substantially more liberal abortion language than found in the House bill. But Nelson has since taken the lead in trying to get Stupak-Pitts language inserted in that bill, even though there is no chance it will get the 60 votes needed for a pro-life amendment to the bill. (There are only four pro-life Democrats in the Senate and two of them — Reid and Arkansas’ Mark Pryor — are only nominally so.)
Here’s the next test: Does Nelson follow through wit his pledge to filibuster the Senate health care bill after his amendment is defeated? Or does he use the amendments he supported as cover to vote for the final bill? Nebraskans should pay close attention to their senior senator, and so should conservatives nationwide.
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