Sen. Joe Liberman (I-CT) told reporters this afternoon that as long as “there are no other attempts” to bring the public option or the Medicare buy-in back into the health care bill, “I’m getting towards that position where I can say what I wanted to say all along, that I’m ready to vote for health care reform.” But as Lieberman was getting in, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) got out. “I’m not on the bill,” said Nelson, who spoke with Obama earlier Tuesday. “I have spoken with the president and he knows they are not wrapped up today. I think everybody understands they are not wrapped up today and that impression will not be given.”
In trying to discern some of Nelson’s reasons for potentially opposing the measure, my colleague and DC Progressive blogger Emma Sandoe put together this very useful table of amendments that have gone to a vote on the senate floor. Nelson has voted with the Republicans 9 different times:
- Co-sponsored a failed measure to deny women who receive subsidies the right to purchase abortion coverage.
- Voted to send the bill back to the Senate Finance Committee to remove the Medicare and Medicare Advantage adjustments.
- Voted to eliminate the CLASS Act.
In fact, the only time Nelson voted with the Democrats was on an Ensign amendment that would have limited the contingency pay for plaintiff attorneys representing victims in malpractice cases.
|12-3-09||Mikulski – Women’s Preventive Care||61-39 (Passed)||Ben Nelson, Collins, Snowe, Vitter, Feingold|
|12-3-09||Murkowski - Anti-Preventative Services Task Force||41-59 (Failed)||Ben Nelson|
|12-3-09||Bennet – Protects Medicare Guaranteed Benefits||100-0 (Passed)||–|
|12-3-09||McCain - Recommit & Take Out Medicare Cuts||42-58 (Failed)||Ben Nelson, Webb|
|12-4-09||Whitehouse - Protect Savings From Social Security & CLASS||98-0 (Passed)||–|
|12-4-09||Thune - Eliminate CLASS Act||51-47 (Failed)||Ben Nelson, Baucus, Bayh, Carper, Conrad, Landrieu, Lincoln, McCaskill, Udall (CO), Warner, Webb|
|12-4-09||Stabenow - No Reduction Of Guaranteed Medic Benefits||97-1 (Passed)||Coburn|
|12-4-09||Hatch – Recommit & Take Out Medicare Advantage Cuts||41-57 (Failed)||Ben Nelson, Webb|
|12-5-09||Kerry - Protect Home Health Benefits||96-0 (Passed)||–|
|12-5-09||Johanns - Recommit & Take Out Home Health Cuts||41-53 (Failed)||Ben Nelson, Bayh, Lincoln, Webb,|
|12-6-09||Lincoln - Excessive Renumeration||56-42 (Failed)||Snowe, Bingaman, Carper, Conrad, Lieberman|
|12-6-09||Ensign - Attorney Contingency Fees||32-66 (Failed)||Hagan, Kohl, Lieberman, Lincoln, Warner, Bennett, Chambliss, Collins, Crapo, Hatch, Johanns, LeMieux, Risch, Shelby, Wicker|
|12-7-09||Pryor - Enrollee Satisfaction Survey For Exchanges||98-0 (Passed)||–|
|12-7-09||Gregg – Medicare Savings Stay In Medicare||43-56 (Failed)||Ben Nelson, Bayh|
|12-8-09||Nelson - Abortion Restrictions||54 -45 (Tabled)||Ben Nelson, Snowe, Collins, Bayh, Casey, Conrad, Dorgan, Kaufman|
|12-8-09||McCain – Recommit & Take Out Medicare Advantage Cuts||42-57 (Failed)||Ben Nelson, Webb|
Later this evening, the Senate will vote on two different drug re-importation amendments and two amendments concerning the tax provisions in the Senate bill. Nelson is expected to vote for Sen. Mike Crapo’s (R-ID) motion to commit the bill back to the Senate Finance Committee and remove tax increase for Americans earning under $250,000. Nelson has previously supported drug reimportation.
Ben Nelson was the only Senator to vote against a Baucus amendment to protect middle class families from tax increases. It passed 97-1. Nelson voted in favor of a failed Crapo motion to send the bill back to the Senate Finance Committee and also supported both drug reimportation amendments.