Omaha Public Radio News
3:26 pm
Wed November 18, 2009

Sen. Nelson: vote to proceed on health care debate could happen this week

Omaha, NE – The U.S. Senate could vote late this week or early next week on a motion to proceed with a health care reform bill.

Senate leaders are expected to release a health care reform bill and budget analysis sometime Wednesday. Senator Ben Nelson says vote on a motion to proceed is just that a vote on whether to begin debate and make changes to the bill. Nelson says there's a lot of confusion and misinformation about what that motion really means.

60 Senators would have to vote yes on the motion for debate to proceed. Nelson says if that doesn't happen, Senate leaders could try to use what's known as reconciliation to pass the health care bill. Reconciliation requires 51 votes instead of 60.

Nelson says he doesn't know how he'll vote on the motion to proceed. He wants to review the legislation and cost analysis first.

Senator Nelson's comments came Wednesday during his weekly conference call with reporters.