Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson held up introducing his amendment to tighten restrictions on federal funding for abortion to give Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch and the Catholic bishops more time to review it, reports CQ's Alex Wayne.Wayne reports (subscription required):
But Nelson decided later Thursday to hold off after Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, said he thought that the measure was being rushed to the floor. Hatch had expected to be the lead sponsor of the amendment, and he said he thought it was “discourteous” that Nelson was preparing — apparently at the behest of his leadership — to call up the amendment without Hatch’s consent.
Nelson said that the amendment’s language was not finished, and that groups opposed to abortion — notably the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops — needed more time to review it. Additional time, he added, might lead to greater bipartisan support.
Unless Nelson and Hatch depart significantly from Stupak’s language, their amendment has little chance of adoption. The Stupak language would prohibit the public option from covering most abortions and would forbid private insurers to offer plans covering elective abortion to people who buy them using federal subsidies.
As Sinclair Lewis is supposed to have said: 'When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.'
And there doesn't seem to be much that can done about such theocratic lobbying.