Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) announced Monday evening that he would vote no on the health care reconciliation package that was approved Sunday by the House and is expected to hit the Senate floor on Tuesday.
Nelson, who was widely seen as the 60th vote to help Senate Democrats clear health care reform in December, stood by his vote for the underlying, $875 billion Senate bill. But he cited several problems with the reconciliation package.
No. 1, the student loan provision being included not debated anywhere previously. It puts at risk 30,000 jobs at a time when were trying to create jobs all across America, Nelson told reporters. No. 2, the payroll tax on unearned income. Ive always looked at that as a potential rescue for Medicare in the future and it goes into just general health care spending.
Reconciliation legislation only requires 51 votes for passage, and Nelsons opposition is unlikely to prevent Democrats from passing the health care sidecar bill.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.