Senate Abortion Amendment Set to Fail
But Ben Nelson says he won't vote for final bill if it does
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2009 6:55 AM CST
Sen. Ben Nelson, R-Neb. answer question for members of the media on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2009.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – Ben Nelson’s strict anti-abortion amendment appears set to fail, despite the support of nearly all 40 Senate Republicans. The amendment, which mirrors the language of Bart Stupak’s House amendment, banning insurance companies that offer abortion from receiving government funds, would need 60 votes to pass, and there’s little chance of Nelson winning over 19 other Democrats. But that could prove problematic for Harry Reid, since Nelson’s threatened to filibuster the bill if his amendment fails.

Democrats would then need top grab a Republican vote, most likely Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins. Liberal Democrats wouldn’t say whether they’d vote for a final bill that included the amendment. “We’ll see where we are at the end of the day,” Barbara Mikulski of Maryland tells The Hill, “but I know I’m not voting for Stupak.”