Tonight, the Senate defeated an attempt by Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE), Orrin Hatch (R-OR) and Bob Casey (D-PA) to insert a "Stupak" amendment into the Senate health reform bill.
After many long hours of debate and grandstanding, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) called for a vote to table the Nelson Amendment. A vote to table, which can pass on a simple majority, effectively kills the amendment and likely proved to be a simpler tactic than the process of garnering 60 votes to outright defeat the amendment on a yay or nay vote.
Debate on other aspects of the health reform bill can now go forward, as Senator Harry Reid tries to bring the entire bill to a vote before Christmas. The fight is, however, not over. First, Reid has to prevent a filibuster on the health reform bill. And if it passes, the focus on preventing restrictions on women’s rights to insurance coverage in the health reform bill will move to the conference committee that has to iron out differences between the final Senate and House bills, the latter of which contains the restrictive Stupak language.
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