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Nelson Amendment Goes Down, Democrats for Life Calls for Filibuster

5:42 PM, Dec 8, 2009 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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The Senate voted 54 to 45 this afternoon to kill the Nelson amendment, which would prevent taxpayer funding of abortion through Obamacare. Thirty-eight Republicans were joined by seven Democrats in favor of Nelson's amendment:

Kent Conrad (N.D.), Byron Dorgan (N.D.), Ted Kaufman (Del.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Bob Casey (Pa.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Evan Bayh (Ind.).

Asked if these Democrats should vote against cloture if the final bill lacks the Nelson amendment, executive director of Democrats for Life of America Kristen Day told THE WEEKLY STANDARD: "Yes, Senator Nelson has already said that he would [vote against cloture] unless language" in his amendment was in the bill.

A few Democrats who had previously voted against taxpayer-funding of abortion voted against the Nelson amendment. Harry Reid, Tim Johnson (S.D.), and Mary Landrieu (La.) all flip flopped on the issue.

Repercussions are "going to be felt in the next election for a lot of senators who voted against the Nelson amendment," said Day.

In 2010, voting against the Nelson amendment could cause problems for Blanche Lincoln of deep-red Arkansas and Michael Bennet of Colorado, whose predecessor Ken Salazar voted against abortion funding.