November 20th, 2009
12:12 PM ET
13 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. bob in LA

    It's so hard to imagine that any congressmen would block the chance to debate a bill! That is the basis of thier job!
    Then they wonder why so many dislike them and don't trust them.

    November 20, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. bob

    In a Wall St Journal article from Tuesday the story was about the German universal health care system(one extolled by the left) and how it is going broke, will have to raise premiums, cut services. When it is all done Germans will end up paying more as a % of GDP than we do, that is until the monstrosities coming out of the senate and house get passed ,then we will be #1 again.

    In the same issue the dean of Harvard medical school wrote that neither senate or house bill does anything to either reform health care or lower the cost. I thought these were two of the reasons for a health care "reform" bill?

    November 20, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. Steve, Neb.

    Nelson is a phony moderate and supports a govt takeover of our health care and a $500 billion assault on senior citizens. We will vote this phony out of office.

    November 20, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  4. get it done

    enough with the 'no', make some sausage

    November 20, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  5. Richp

    At the demonstration in DC two weeks ago I did not see or hear one single PRO health care demonstrator, not a one. I guess they are the new silent minority...

    November 20, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  6. haren

    This country is ruled by corporation thru stooges like all Republican and some democrats like Nelson, Landrue, Lincoln,Lieberman,Backus.
    We are the looser no matter what some congressman and senator try to pass campaign reform, corporation will not allow it and they will torpedo that also.

    November 20, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  7. Johnny DC

    Of course there's no reason to block it from discussion!!

    It's not like once it's been allowed to move forward, Reid and the honorable Democrats are going to use the emergency "reconciliation" plan to jam it through with a 51-vote majority instead of the constitutionally-required 60. Right? They would never do that! Right?

    Anyone who thinks opposing pushing this forward is some barbaric GOP plan to stifle debate is going to have to answer to why Reid and the Democrats used reconciliation to pass this atrocity when Lieberman says no to it.

    Pot and the kettle, Liberals. Pick one. You are certainly one or the other. We're all black.

    November 20, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  8. billincalif

    HEY LACROSSE MOM WANNA HEAR REAL HYPOCRICY? You and your ilk pretend to care about HEALTH for the underpriveledged YET are more than willing to MURDER those without rights, THE UNBORN HUMAN.

    November 20, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  9. Democrat in Nebraska

    I'm totally and completely shocked that Senator Nelson finally did the right thing! Congratulations, Senator Nelson!

    As a Nebraska Democrat I am seriously thinking about working for whatever Democrat is interested in running AGAINST Nelson.

    Up to now, Senator Nelson may have called himself a Democrat, but he's a Republican in everything but name. Democrats in Nebraska haven't had any representation whatsoever since Bob Kerrey left office.

    Nelson's ego craves all the attention that holding out provides. He loves the attention when both the Republicans and Democrats have to beg him. So he holds out so he can appear on CNN.

    It's sickening to watch the juvenile bickering that passes for the legislative process these days. On both sides. Democrats couldn't come together if the country depended on it. They prove it everytime they have a majority – for all the good it does. News flash, Democrats – OUR COUNTRY DOES DEPEND ON YOU WORKING TOGETHER FOR THE COMMON GOOD FOR A CHANGE! STOP FIGHTING EACH OTHER AND TRY WORKING TOGETHER! JEEZ!

    Republicans preach nothing but hate and fear. They twist and spin everything with their lies and campaign of misinformation. It doesn't matter what President Obama proposes, they oppose it simply because he proposed it – but they never come up with anything contructive of their own. You couldn't pay me to vote for a Republican. Any Republican! I've tried to remain neutral, but enough already!

    November 20, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  10. Bubble of Sanity

    This is a healthy bill. If Reid paid 100,000,000 dollars to Louisiana to get one vote, I wonder how much Nebraska must have gotten?

    End of an old joke:

    "what kind of woman do you think I am, anyway?" she asked.

    "We've already determined that," he said, "now we're just negotiating the price."

    I appears Harry's willing to pay any price. And I still can't figure out why.

    November 20, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. Debby

    Why are these Blue dogs listening to Reid, when they know this healthcare bill will kill us in taxes.

    November 20, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  12. bob

    My wife pointed out to me that I should apologize to the dems because I said there was no reform in the health care "reform" bills being rammed through. The favorite type of democratic reforms are in it. Additional taxes on working people to support the largest segments of the democratic base, those unwilling to work and the unions

    November 20, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  13. Dan, NE

    Ben, you are out of your mind and also out of the senate next time. We dislike you. We do not need such people in the senate. If you vote in favor of this bill, your days are numbered in our state.

    November 20, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  14. andy

    of course he don't want to obstruct. The great Obama has spoken and all good little sheeple must do as told no matter how much this so called reform will cost real working people. Quit bowing down, pull your head out of the sand and think instead of rubber stamping for Obama

    November 20, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  15. Scalliwag

    What happened to repubs always screaming about wanting up or down votes? They called what their doing now obstructionism

    November 20, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  16. Tom

    It is a big bill. More the reason to talk about it.

    It would be real nice if a clear explanation would be provided to let us know why it it necessary to wait 4 years before citizens will be able to benefit from the bill when taxation will start as soon as the bill, if passed, is signed into law.

    Also, how can the current level of care be sustained if BILLIONS are cut from Medicare funding?

    I find these thing to be puzzling to say the least.

    November 20, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  17. TCM

    Nelson – kiss your career goodbye.....traitor

    November 20, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  18. Jane/Seattle

    I feel censored, but then sometimes it takes many words to tell the story of such convoluted acting which defines this country.

    November 20, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  19. File under "Sarcasm"

    It's OK Ben, we know you can't stand the heat. When election time comes around, we'll have to help out and take you out of the kitchen for your own safety.

    November 20, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
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