Speaking with Neil Cavuto on the Fox Business Channel tonight, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) stated flatly that he would not vote for the health care bill moving through the Senate.

I’m struggling with this. As of this point, I’m not voting for the bill. … I’m going to do my best to make this bill a better bill, a bill that I can vote for, but I’ve indicated both to the White House and the Democratic leadership that my vote is not secure at this point. And here is the reason. When the public option was withdrawn, because of Lieberman’s action, what I worry about is how do you control escalating health care costs?

Crucially, Sanders said he’s not voting “for the bill.” That is not necessarily a vote against cloture. There’s an opportunity for him to vote for cloture and against the bill and still be technically correct about his intentions. For conservative Democrats, procedural votes and up or down votes on the bill became one and the same, leading to the hostage-taking process. Perhaps Sanders is still trying to extract more goodies from the bill, maybe even in the area of community health centers.

Prior to this statement, Sanders has said he was undecided on the bill, and signaled that he thought the reconciliation process would have been a better use of the Senate’s time:

“If I had my druthers, I think reconciliation is an absolutely appropriate way to go,” he said. “I think what people who oppose that will tell you is that you can’t have the kind of comprehensive legislation that the Senate is trying to deal with now—and that may in fact be true—but there are a heck of a lot of things that you can do that would strengthen our health care system in a cost-effective way that could be a giant step forward for the American people.”

Other Senators, like Russ Feingold, have remained undecided, but Sanders is the first of the more liberal Senate Democrats to go as far as saying they would not vote for the bill.

Some conservative Democrats also remain undecided, like Ben Nelson, who is reportedly “weighing” whether or not to support new language on abortion services penned by Bob Casey.