To Sway Nelson, a Hard-Won Compromise on Abortion Issue

The Washington Post’s Paul Kane reports on the behind-the-scenes negotiations inside majority leader Reid’s office between abortion rights supporters and anti-choice Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska:

The Democrats wouldn’t even sit in the same room.

At one end of the majority leader’s office, Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), the antiabortion senator whose support was crucial to health-care legislation, huddled with White House staff in a conference room. At the other end, Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the chamber’s leading advocates of abortion rights, hunkered as far from Nelson as possible, in the office of Reid’s chief of staff.

Shuttling between the two parties Friday afternoon and evening were Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.). Desperately trying to find a compromise, Schumer put his head in his hands early Friday afternoon. “What are we going to do?” he asked Reid.

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