Updated to add that Kentucky Republican Rand Paul was apparently the “mystery senator.”
An undisclosed senator has informed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that he will block a bill to increase funding to the National Flood Insurance Program unless Reid allows an amendment stating that life begins at conception.
[Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid] said Tuesday that a Republican senator – whom he did not name – is insisting on a vote on an amendment defining “when life begins.”
“I think some of this stuff is just – I have been very patient working with my Republican colleagues in allowing relevant amendments on issues, and sometimes we even do non-relevant amendments,” Reid said. “But really, on flood insurance?”
“After all the work that’s been put on this bill, this is ridiculous that somebody says ‘I’m not going to let this bill go forward unless I have a vote on when life begins,’” Reid continued. “I am not going to do that, and I think I speak for the majority of senators.”
Calling the request “outlandish,” Reid said he was told of the unspecified Republican senator’s demands on Monday night.
The GOP has added abortion amendments to many bills, but I believe defining life as beginning at the moment of fertilization is likely a first.
UPDATE: Our “mystery senator” has been revealed as Kentucky’s Rand Paul, according to the Huffington Post. On Monday, Paul introduced his “Life at Conception” act, and has been tacking it to everything he can find, including D.C. budget autonomy and now flood insurance.