Senate Liberals to Majority Leader: No More Compromise
Posted on Nov 16, 2009
Sherrod Brown and other progressive senators held a meeting Monday night with Harry Reid to let the majority leader know they don’t intend to give up any more of an already weakened public option. Health industry enthusiast Max Baucus was on hand with his wrench, predicting his colleagues would have to bend over further still in order to get a bill passed.
Brown disagreed, saying, “I don’t think in the end anybody here in our caucus wants to be on the wrong side of history, wants to kill on a procedural motion something as important as this.”
The Democrats need 60 votes to open and end debate—unless they use a parliamentary stratagem called reconciliation, which requires only 51 votes. No one doubts that the public option has the support of a simple majority. The whole thing is being held up by a handful of lawmakers who argue, despite polling to the contrary, that their constituents don’t want the measure.
Speaking with reporters, Brown perfectly captured progressives’ frustration with the journey health care has taken in Congress. —PZS
New York Times:
“A large number of people in this country including many, many doctors wanted Medicare for all,” he said. “That didn’t happen. Then we wanted a strong public option tied to Medicare rates. Then we wanted a public option building the Medicare network. That didn’t happen. Now we are saying public option coming out of the HELP Committee. And now we’re saying public option with the state opt-out. Where was the compromise coming from their side?”
Flickr / Matti Mattila