November 20th, 2009
12:12 PM ET
4 years ago

Nelson to support motion to proceed

Washington (CNN ) - Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson announced Friday that he would be supporting the motion to proceed that would allow the Senate to begin debate on the Democrats' health care reform legislation.

"Throughout my Senate career I have consistently rejected efforts to obstruct," he said in a statement. "That's what the vote on the motion to proceed is all about. It is not for or against the new Senate health care bill released Wednesday. It is only to begin debate and an opportunity to make improvements. If you don't like a bill why block your own opportunity to amend it?"

The Nebraska Democrat sounded a positive note Thursday after emerging from a meeting with Reid and other moderate Democratic holdouts in the Senate Majority Leader's office, although he told CNN then he was withholding his final decision on the motion to proceed until he had a chance to "study (the bill) or at least review it to begin with."

He said there had been concerns about the length of time the bill would be made public before the final vote, and whether it would be read on the floor - but that it appeared Reid had largely satisfied his concerns on those issues.

Nelson also said the meeting did not include discussion of any of the specifics regarding abortion language, the antitrust exemption for the insurance industry, and other issues of concern to him.

–CNN's Ted Barrett contributed to this report


Filed under: Ben Nelson • Health care
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. Arden Muller

    Thank God one of the four has a brain and thinks of the American people.

    November 20, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  2. Fair is Fair

    Reid paid Landrieu $100,000,000 for her vote. I wonder how much Nelson got.

    November 20, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  3. Obama 2.0

    Thank you Senator,
    We need to do something, even if it is not perfect, it is better than what we have and were we are headed. And I am an Independent :)

    November 20, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  4. Biased

    The problem is that you will probably not have the votes necessary to make amendments and therefore are stuck with it as is, and then do you play the martyr and vote no or play the fool and say you'll vote for it because Obama needs it for his legacy before the end of the year?

    November 20, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. Dan

    Hmmm. More corn subsidies maybe?

    November 20, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. SocialismBad

    So begins the sellout... More back room deals being made to sellout the American people and saddle us with this financial disaster.

    I guess once those clowns get thrown out and replaced, they can always repeal this road to financial ruin.

    November 20, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. LacrosseMom

    45, 000 Americans die every year because they lack healthcare.

    IF 45,000 Americans were dying every year because of terrorist attacks, the GOPers would be rioting in the streets demanding we nuke the Middle-East!

    However, 45,000 Americans die EVERY YEAR, and the so-called-pro-life-Republicans......... could care less!

    Hypocrites.

    November 20, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. T

    Leave me to fend for myself on health care! If I can't afford it, or if I can, then it is up to me, not some lame duck who will be out of office soon anyhow.

    The only thing you "politicians" should be doing is fixing what is in place that is broken, not adding to the already insanely high deficit!

    November 20, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  9. Al-NY,NY

    the whiny cry-baby Republicans will not do a da#n thing about health care on their own. All they want to do is block whatever Obama puts out there regardless of whether it helps people or not

    November 20, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  10. Garrett

    I don't know, Ben, maybe you shouldn't vote for it because it is a bad bill and making minor "improvements" will not make it a good bill. Just a thought...

    November 20, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  11. Nicole

    You can talk about skyrocketing debt, yet the U.S. government actually pays a higher percentage of it's budget for health care costs (people who are not uninsured still receive medical treatment, and guess who pays for it? You and I in the form of taxes) than countries like Canada and Great Britain that have universal healthcare. By enacting health care legislation, the government will actually decrease it's deficit. The system we have now is broken.

    November 20, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. Nicole

    You can talk about skyrocketing debt, yet the U.S. government actually pays a higher percentage of it's budget for health care costs (people who are uninsured still receive medical treatment, and guess who pays for it? You and I in the form of taxes) than countries like Canada and Great Britain that have universal healthcare. By enacting health care legislation, the government will actually decrease it's deficit. The system we have now is broken.

    November 20, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. SLM

    You will be voted out next election.

    November 20, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  14. Don in Albuquerque

    Bout time all the Dems start stepping up to the plate and quit acting like a bunch of Republican sissies. This is what the majority of the people demand. This is what you are expected to deliver!

    November 20, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  15. minnie

    I would hope that Senator Lieberman would do the same. He says he would be happy to debate anyone about the health care bill, specifically the health care option, this would be the perfect opportunity to do so. And as Senator Nelson say, it's the perfect opportunity to debate it and make improvements on it. Let's hear the debate Senator Lieberman!

    November 20, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  16. GG

    Since it only takes a majority to actually pass the bill the real fight is over cloture. Senator Nelson is being disingenious – he knows that a vote for cloture is as good as a vote for passage of the bill.

    As an independant I think the Democrats are doing a real disservice to the people by ramming through their partisan version of the bill. The reality of what they're doing will hit them hard in 2010 when they lose both houses.

    November 20, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  17. Corey

    25,000 people die every DAY because of hunger...
    Only a libtard would be so self-serving to think they deserve healthcare more than someone deserves life.

    November 20, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  18. Sea.gem

    Way to sacrifice your career to try and save Reid...is this a greater of two evils?...states need to follow Az.'s lead and pass laws that will make any bill uncostitutional that requires you to alter your plan or compel you to buy a government one...sorry Libs...Don't Tread On Me!

    November 20, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  19. STAND AS ONE

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH SENATOR. We really need to do something about these Health Insurance Companies. Any Reform is better than none..They have been sticking it to us for a long long long long time now .

    ... AND FOR REST OF YOU DEMS THAT NOT WITH FELLOW DEMS.. BE WARNED.. ALL I AM GONNA SAY IS 2012.

    November 20, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  20. Zach K

    As a fellow Nebraskan, I am proud that Nelson is inching closer to help America, rather than pandering to conservatives.

    November 20, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  21. thersa

    Thank you, Senator Nelson.

    November 20, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  22. katiec

    Nelson is such a hypocrit. He has done everything he can to get headlines, at the sake of disruption within his own party.
    He is one of those who are putting campaign funding, personal gains and interests and big business over the welfare of the American people.
    Certainly hope he is up for re-election soon as we Democrits do not need irresponsible politicans such as he representing us.

    November 20, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  23. What???

    Some of us believe we can improve our healthcare system. Others with a less defined IQ follow the prescription (if you will) of the GOP; if you get sick, die quickly.

    How long will it be before rational americans are the most vocal? How is it the teabaggers, deathers, birthers and the GOP party as a whole can't see that if an uninsured person visits emergency; we all pay for it? Get a brain you people. Its not illegal to think in this day and age. Or at least go to school before leaving us all with no doubt that you have not finished elementary school.

    November 20, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  24. Barbara Independent in NY

    Well bully for him! This man that is owned by the insurance/pharma industries is going to let health care reform take another step forward. It doesn't mean that he'll do the right thing and vote for it to succeed. Just one more member of Congress that does not really serve the people and he should not be re-elected.

    November 20, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  25. Fitz in Texas

    So what did Reid promise you Sen. Ben Nelson?

    November 20, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
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