Axelrod Blasts Nelson’s Hypocritical Threat to Filibuster Health Care Bill

December 18, 2009

(ChattahBox)—As the Senate nears the finish line of a bruising effort to pass health care reform legislation, which has now resulted in a Democratic inner-party war, ConservaDem Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), the last holdout in the race to secure 60 votes, is holding the bill hostage to his changing whims. And he is not only threatening to vote no on the bill, but he says he will kill the bill and join Republicans in a filibuster to stop the bill from even reaching the floor for a vote. Yesterday, White House senior adviser David Axelrod chastised Nelson for his hypocrisy in threatening to vote no on the procedural motion of cloture, when he criticized such procedural maneuvers during the Republican administration.

Emboldened by Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (I-CT) despicable tactics, Nelson is now demanding extreme language in the bill blocking indirect federal subsidies to be used for abortion procedures, which would go far beyond current law. Despite long hours of negotiations and compromise language inserted in the bill to appease the pro-life Nelson, he still rejected it, declaring yesterday that the language was not “sufficient.” And he is now starting to criticize the expansion of Medicaid in the bill. It seems the extremely conservative Nelson has not been acting in good faith and he never intended to vote for the bill.

Yesterday, during a conference call with progressive bloggers Axelrod gave Nelson some of the Howard Dean treatment, although he was not called insane:

“We are working hard to persuade Senator Nelson that this is in the best interest of Nebraska and his constituents and the country. And we will continue to do that as we will with other members of the Senate,” Axelrod said. “And the main thing I would say to him and others members of the Senate is that after a long, long, long and thorough debate, let us have a vote.

“What we are arguing about today is not whether a majority support the bill in the Senate,” Axelrod added. A majority does. What we are arguing about is whether they will have a chance to express themselves and vote — or whether a minority will thwart the majority and keep that vote from happening. And so my hope is that for Senator Nelson, who has always said under Republican administrations that we shouldn’t use procedural maneuvers to try and keep bills from coming to the floor, that he will not allow that to happen here.”

In recent days, progressives have watched in shock, as Joe Lieberman blatantly extorted concessions from Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and the White House, resulting in a severely weakened bill with no public option and no Medicare buy-in. And the traitorous Lieberman has not been criticized by the White House, while officials attacked Howard Dean’s call to kill the bill and use the process of reconciliation, as insane.

When asked about his attack of Dean, Axelrod spoke of the need to not waver when we are so close to passing a health care reform bill:

“We have this extraordinary moment when we can win where we never could win before. And that’s the basis from which I used that word. I don’t doubt the sincerity of people in this debate on all sides. And certainly people in the progressive community, I know, care deeply about rectifying the very problems I’m talking about. But these bills will go a long way toward doing that and that’s why I feel so strongly about that.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will be working through the weekend to secure Nelson’s vote and bring the cloture motion to the floor on Saturday. If the Democrats can stick to their tight timetable and overcome Republican delaying tactics, they plan to hold a vote on the health care reform bill on Christmas Eve.



3 Responses to “Axelrod Blasts Nelson’s Hypocritical Threat to Filibuster Health Care Bill”

  1. SJ on December 18th, 2009 1:57 pm

    I think Howard Dean is right. This legislation is for the good of the American people. When Bush came with his trumped up charges that have led us into two wars the Democrats voted for what they thought was the good of the country. The republicans filibustered a record number of times during the last two years of the Bush presidency, I think it’s time they got fed some crow.

    In the end more people will be able to visit doctors and get treatments they now can’t afford. I am amazed at how easy it is for the powerful lobbies to turn people against their own best interest. I guess a large segment of the American populace is just plain dumb.

  2. Mary Waterton on December 18th, 2009 2:02 pm

    “Yesterday, White House senior adviser David Axelrod chastised Nelson for his hypocrisy in threatening to vote no on the procedural motion of cloture, when he criticized such procedural maneuvers during the Republican administration.”

    David Axelrod can go to hell. Ben Nelson is taking a stand for human life. God bless Ben Nelson.

  3. Old Man Dotes on December 18th, 2009 3:49 pm

    Ben Nelson is taking a stand AGAINST women’s rights. Nelson isn’t pro-life, he’s anti-women. Anyone with a brain can see that.

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