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Sen. Nelson: I'll Filibuster If Bill Doesn't Include Stupak Amendment

3:40 PM, Dec 3, 2009 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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TPM's Brian Beutler reports on Sen. Ben Nelson's statement to reporters today on what he'd do if the Senate does not approve his anti-abortion funding amendment, which mirrors the amendment offered by Bart Stupak in the House:

"I will not vote to take it off the floor," said Nelson (D-NE).

"Now I don't know that it's going to come down to that, because I don't know that Stupak's not going to pass, number one," he said. "Number two I don't know what kind of alternative legislation may be offered as an alternative bill. I don't know what the next steps are, but I've made it clear that whatever is finally considered has to have that language in it."

Nelson was the lone Democrat to vote with all 40 Republicans in favor of the Murkowski amendment that "would have banned the government from using guidelines from the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force to deny coverage. It would have applied to private insurers and government insurance plans." It would have also prevented the government from defining abortion as a preventive service that insurers must cover.

The Senate did pass the Mikulski amendment that mandates that insurers cover mammograms and other "preventive care" without co-pays; it leaves open whether abortion would be defined as preventive care.