32: Schumer supports reconciliation with public option; Cantwell "studying it with caution"

by: Chris Bowers

Thu Feb 18, 2010 at 15:47

Senator Charles Schumer has signed the Bennet letter on the public option.  That brings the total number of Democratic Senators open to using reconciliation to finish health reform up to 32, and the number in favor of using the public option in that process up to 18.  See the whip count here.

We also have a response from Senator Maria Cantwell's office.  Open Left user RubyK writes in:

XXX from Cantwell's office got back to me.  His short answer was "we're studying it with caution"

His longer answer was:

Senator's been in Washington state, doing business there and he hasn't checked in with her on this yet.  She will be back in Washington [DC] next week.

"We're studying it with caution" b/c she's had and expressed concerns for using reconciliation for larger sweeping changes.

As a general rule doesn't want to use a process to end run, use something like reconcilliation to pass something so big.

He told me: she hasn't given up on health care, and reminded me she's a supporter of public option

He lastly suggested this to me, one of her reasons for hesitation on reconciliation generally  would be that it would create a ten year sunset, which would make it more unstable, and with the health care system needing stability, going back to this in ten years might cause more problems.

Well, at least it wasn't a no.  Even if that isn't the sort of answer we wanted, it is still useful information.  Cantwell appears to be one of the recalcitrant Dems on reconciliation.

If your want to help push the undecided Senators in the right direction, click here to contact one of them.

Update: Jeanne Shaheen signs on, making the totals 33 and 19.

Chris Bowers :: 32: Schumer supports reconciliation with public option; Cantwell "studying it with caution"

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hey naysayers... (4.00 / 1)
keep calling your folks!  

Many of the naysayers, including myself, question what (4.00 / 1)
will happen to this once the WH tries to kill it behind the scene while pretending to be for it in public. The other concern is that the president is double downing in "bipartisanship" with the GOP. I don't see that changing because he has not changed in a year in which he has had every reason to change. Do you? So, while I am glad this is happening, and I hope like hell Chris is successful, that does not mean I am going to blind myself to the 800 lb guerilla that is behind why we have not been able to include the PO in the bill in the first place, and that's because the WH does not want it. They dont' want any bill. They want the senate bill as is. .  

[ Parent ]
Statements from Durbin and others updated at Huffington Post (0.00 / 0)
That "10-year sunset" excuse holds no water (4.00 / 1)
SCHIP, the Clinton initiative that gave Medicaid-like health coverage to kids whose families made too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but were below 200-percent of the federal poverty level, had a 10-year sunset.  It got made permanent and expanded last year because it was popular and it worked.

If this bill is popular and it works, it too will be made permanent and expanded at the end of 10 years -- which is exactly the outcome progressives should want.

So get off the dime, Sen. Cantwell. Sign on for reconciliation!


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