From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
The Senate rejected Sen. Ben Nelson's abortion amendment.
Per AP: "The Senate has rejected an effort to stiffen abortion restrictions in the health care bill. The vote was 54 to 45."
*** UPDATE *** NBC's Ken Strickland has more: Earlier this week, Nelson said he would vote against the Senate's final health-care bill unless it included language that placed greater restriction on federal funds being used for abortion.
Less than an hour ago, his amendment to do that failed. Will he still vote against the final bill? "It makes it harder to be supportive [of the final bill]. We'll see what happens," he told reporters moments ago.
Nelson said he will not draft a compromised version on his original amendment: "I had no Plan B, and I'm not looking for a Plan B. Others may be."
But he left the door open for other senators, including Majority Leader Harry Reid, to find a workable solution. "I always listen to the Leader, if the Leader has something to say. But it's not my intent to go looking to achieve a compromise... If others are trying to develop a Plan B -- you always look at Plan B -- but I can't imagine how it would be satisfactory."
A reporter then simply asked, "Are you a 'no' vote now" on final passage?
"They've made it harder to be supportive," he replied.