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Reid vows to block vote on Paul's 'life at conception' amendment to flood bill

An exasperated Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said that he would not allow a vote on an amendment clarifying that life begins at conception, which Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) offered to a flood insurance bill.

Paul has been known to offer unrelated amendments to Senate bills throughout the 112th Congress, often frustrating Reid. On Tuesday morning, Reid indicated he has had enough, and said Republicans need to control Paul or run the risk that the flood bill might not go through as planned.

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"I'm told last night that one of our Republican senators wants to offer an amendment — listen to this one — wants to offer an amendment on when life begins," Reid said. "There will not be a vote on that on flood insurance. We'll either do flood insurance with amendments that deal with flood insurance, or we won't do it, we'll have an extension.

"I don't understand what this is all about," Reid added. "But I want everyone to know: This flood insurance is extremely important. The big pushers of this bill are Republicans senators, veteran Republican senators.

"They better work on their side of the aisle, because I am not going to put up with that," he concluded. "If the Republicans won't stand up to that, to the person who's going to that, I'm not going to."

The Senate is working on a bill, S. 1940, that would reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years, and reform it to allow the nation's only flood insurer to increase premiums so the program can work its way out of a nearly $18 billion deficit. The program expires at the end of July.

Senators are working on an agreement on which amendments to the bill might come up. Paul's amendment, introduced on Monday, is called the Life at Conception Act, and would "ensure equal protection for right to life of each born and preborn human person."

Paul's language also states that "Congress hereby declares that the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being."