HERDING CATS…. After the economic stimulus plan drew 100% opposition in the House, the question quickly became whether any Senate Republicans would be willing the rescue plan. The political world apparently forgot to consider the conservative Democrats.

Sen. Ben Nelson (D) of Nebraska is officially “undecided” about the legislation. He appeared on Fox News this morning and was asked if knows if any Senate Republicans who are prepared to support the package.

“I don’t know, I don’t even know how many Democrats will vote for it as it stands today because a lot of my colleagues are not decided. They’re undecided on the bill as it is right now. Fortunately, we don’t have to take the vote on it right now. We have an opportunity to make some improvements.”

As far as Nelson is concerned, “improvements” would include cutting research projects at the National Institutes of Health and about $13 billion for Pell grants, both of which Nelson sees as having a “marginal” stimulative impact. As Matt Corley noted, Nelson is mistaken about both the NIH and helping students pay for college.

Nevertheless, Nelson is reportedly meeting with some “centrist” senators, exploring ways to “improve” the bill. This probably can’t end well.

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.