Critical Condition

Johanns: Nelson Amendment ‘Right on Target’

Sen. Mike Johanns (R., Neb.), a cosponsor of the abortion amendment proposed by Sen. Ben Nelson (D., Neb.), tells NRO that, though the measure will be hard to pass, he is pleased that it is “right on target” with pro-life values and “mirrors the Stupak amendment.” A vote on the amendment, he says, will likely come tomorrow, with debate beginning this afternoon.

“The American people do not support using taxpayer dollars directly or indirectly to create a mechanism for abortion,” says Johanns. “My hope is that [public opinion] will help to lead votes our way.”

Johanns, a vocal pro-life leader during the debate to move Senate majority leader Harry Reid’s health-care bill to the floor, says that the vote on this amendment will be akin to the vote on the motion to proceed — a vote he called at the time a “day of reckoning.”

“Sixty votes is a very high bar,” he admits. “Even if it doesn’t pass, this isn’t over. We’ll take the fight to the House-Senate conference, should the bill ever get there.”

Two reasons pro-lifers may not reach 60: Maine’s pro-choice GOP senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.