Yeah, "Cash for Cloture" just about sums it up. The Senate voted in the wee hours of this morning on Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Reid Amdt. No. 3276 to Amdt. No. 2786 to H.R. 3590. That’s a mouthful, but it means debate is now limited on the Senate’s current health care bill. And since the vote tally was 60 to 40, there could be no filibuster.
In recent days, many backroom deals were struck in order to secure the coveted 60 YEAs. You can see how your Senator voted here. The last holdout and object of many pro-life prayers was Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska. It appears even he agreed to a special financial incentive as late as Friday night becoming the 60th vote.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tweet’d at 7:13 AM Saturday:
"Thanks to Sen. Ben Nelson for announcing his support for the Senate health care bill, making him our 60th vote."
The details and implications of the new abortion language have been surfacing since that time. Yesterday leaders from both sides made critiquing remarks:
“I have some deep reservations with this Nelson language on first examination,” Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), a co-chairwoman of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, told POLITICO on Sunday.
Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), a leading abortion opponent, said during the weekend, “While I and many other pro-life Democratic House members wish to see health care coverage for all Americans, the proposed Senate language is unacceptable.”
Most pro-life commentators are saying that Nelson "Caved" on the abortion issue.
One big change that’s come up deals with giving states the ability to "Opt Out" of covering abortions in the proposed health insurance exchange. Rather than "Opt In," this would create 50 big battles instead of just one. Also, the ongoing attempt to segregate money and payments for abortions continues to be labeled by pro-life analysts as nothing more than a thinly-veiled "shell game."
Expect a vote to pass the bill on Thursday, Christmas Eve.