Allegations White House Is Extorting Sen. Ben Nelson’s Healthcare Vote (UPDATED)

Glenn Beck interviews Michael Goldfarb of the Weekly Standard about the allegations that the White House is blackmailing Sen. Ben Nelson with Offutt Air Force Base.

The Weekly Standard:

Source: Dems Threaten Nelson In Pursuit of 60

While the Democrats appease Senator Lieberman, they still have to worry about other recalcitrant Democrats including Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson. Though Lieberman has been out front in the fight against the public option and the Medicare buy-in, Nelson was critical of both. Now that those provisions appear to have been stripped from the bill, Lieberman may get on board, but Nelson’s demand that taxpayer money not be used to fund abortion has still not been met. According to a Senate aide, the White House is now threatening to put Nebraska’s Offutt Air Force Base on the BRAC list if Nelson doesn’t fall into line.

Offutt Air Force Base employs some 10,000 military and federal employees in Southeastern Nebraska. As our source put it, this is a “naked effort by Rahm Emanuel and the White House to extort Nelson’s vote.” They are “threatening to close a base vital to national security for what?” asked the Senate staffer.

Indeed, Offutt is the headquarters for US Strategic Command, the successor to Strategic Air Command, and not by accident. STRATCOM was located in the middle of the country for strategic reasons. Its closure would be a massive blow to the economy of the state of Nebraska, but it would also be another example of this administration playing politics with our national security.

World Net Daily has coverage of 20 senators demanding a probe of this topic.

20 Senators Demand Probe Of Health-Care Vote ‘Threat’
Did White House say it would close Air Force base if Nelson didn’t play?

Twenty senators are demanding an investigation into reports the Obama administration threatened to close Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska if that state’s Democratic senator, Ben Nelson, didn’t join other Democrats in voting for health-care reform.
The group of 20, all Republicans, today called for a hearing in a letter to Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., and the committee’s top Republican Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

The text of the letter states:

It has been reported that the Obama Administration threatened the closure of a U.S. military installation for political purposes, thereby bringing into question the integrity of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. The BRAC process was established to remove political influence so that the decision to close or not to close a military installation could be based upon military utility.

Specifically, various media reports have stated that the Obama Administration would put Offutt AFB in southeastern Nebraska on a future BRAC list because of a vote on healthcare reform. While we recognize the importance of Offutt AFB as the headquarters of U.S. Strategic Command and the approximately 10,000 individuals that work there, we feel that this installation should remain open or be closed on its own merits.

Therefore, we respectfully ask that a hearing be held as to whether the BRAC process has been compromised. We do not want to see the name of a base from our state on a BRAC list and think it has been put there to settle partisan scores. We also do not want our bases to be more vulnerable to closure because political arm-twisting has taken another installation off the table. National security not partisanship should determine how BRAC decisions are made.

The Republicans signing the letter were Sens. John Ensign of Nevada, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, John Thune of South Dakota, Jim Bunning of Kentucky, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker of Tennessee, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Kit Bond of Missouri, George LeMieux of Florida, Pat Roberts of Kansas, David Vitter of Louisiana, Thad Cochran of Mississipi, John Cornyn of Texas, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, Mike Johanns of Nebraska, Bob Bennett of Utah, Johnny Isakson of Georgia and Chuck Grassley of Iowa.

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