August 19th, 2009
09:27 AM ET
5 years ago

WH may push through health care reform without Republicans

Democrats say Republicans, particularly Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, aren't serious about striking a deal.
Democrats say Republicans, particularly Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, aren't serious about striking a deal.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Obama administration is looking hard at pushing through a health care reform bill without Republican backing, top Democrats close to the White House have told CNN.

The Democratic majority in the Senate has been stymied in the health care debate by Republicans and conservative Democrats, leaving them short of the 60-vote "filibuster-proof" margin needed to pass the bill.

Democratic success could depend on an obscure tactic called reconciliation, a type of budget maneuver that requires only a simple majority - 51 votes - to pass.

Going it alone could be risky for Democrats, not because they couldn't raise the votes, but because Republicans could cast it as a power play, accusing them of failing to win bipartisan support. But it's a fight Democrats might be willing to enter.

"If we have to push it through this way, no one is going to remember how messy it was," a top White House adviser told CNN. "At the end of the day, they'll remember we got health care reform done. A win is a win."

White House officials are beginning to lay the groundwork for such a move, telling CNN that they'll have to take drastic measures if there's no movement.

Sources from the administration and the Democratic side of Capitol Hill have told CNN that they're becoming increasingly convinced that Republicans - particularly Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley - involved in the negotiating process aren't serious about striking a deal.

Full story


Filed under: Health care • Obama administration • Senate
soundoff (342 Responses)
  1. Nick

    Finally the Dems are showing a spine. Bravo!!

    August 19, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  2. carlo

    Good, its about time. When an overwhelming majority of Republicans believe (1) Obama is a Muslim (2) Public Option will Kill old people (3)illigal immigrants are entitled to insurance under the program and (4) public option pays for abortions, when none of this is either in any bill or has a basis in fact, they should be ignored.

    How stupid are they? A woman recently yelled "heil Hitler" at an Israeli trying to talk about the healthcare system in Israel. That's how stupid.

    August 19, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  3. Clint

    Go for it.

    August 19, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  4. cjr

    Go for it. republicans have had their chance to participate in this debate but instead went for the cheap thrills. It's over for them – the party of No has lived up to their name. We don't need them nor do they have any place in the future of this country. They are the tools of the insurance industry – have no interest in the health care of americans. Check out old Grassley – $2.5 million from the health care industry – tell me how much he cares about the health care needs of the people of Iowa.- Time for the republican party to fold up their tents and go into the swamp. They won't be missed!

    August 19, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  5. Donna P.

    The Democrats don't need the Republicans' support for anything they want to push through. The only thing they need to worry about is November of 2010 when these "un-American terrorists" go to the polls.

    August 19, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  6. Torch

    I don't care what side you are on. If the Democrats do this and destroy healthcare for 80% of taxpayers to help a minority without insurance (for whatever reason btw), it's all out WAR.

    From the president on down, if they go out in public, they deserved to be harrassed to the point that they have to resign.

    Did you see Barney's town hall? I mean, it was disgusting. The so called man, has utter contempt for the people he suppossedly serves.
    I couldn't believe the things he was saying, and it's a front row seat to the utter Cancer that is the Democrat party these days.

    August 19, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  7. JA/TN

    the Obama admin should push through, we are fighting two wars with unheard of budgets, not to mention human sacrifice, based on lies, recently within the borders of America people camp overnight on the eastern and western segments of this country, he should steam roll the reform measures

    August 19, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  8. Independent

    Don't care what plan comes up,
    the Republicans would do the same thing....they would all vote NO NO NO NO.....just goes to show you, they aren't for the AMERICAN people, only themselves...They see themselves as the holier than thou party that can't do no wrong...Well, they are WRONG!!!!!!

    August 19, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  9. Melissa

    Its about time. Stop trying to get bipartisan support from the Republicans because you won't get it. They aren't interested in it, they just want to make Obama fail and bring down the whole country with him. Democrats are in power now, so just get it done.

    August 19, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  10. Brian0901

    Republicans don't care about the American people. Conservatives are SCUM.

    August 19, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  11. Oh I just cant wait till 2010

    Hmm...a majority of Americans are saying they dont want it, so wel just ignore them and push it through using loopholes... Can you say loss of power in 2010?

    August 19, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  12. Jeff

    About time! They won a majority for a reason. Time to use it.

    August 19, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  13. Randolph Carter the socialist libtard

    Good luck getting even 51 votes when so many democrats, like most republicans, are in the pocket of industry lobbyists. The only way to return to government to the people is to boot all the lobbyists out and pass real campaign reform. Do you think this will ever happen? Right. Now be a good little consumerbot and bend over for your corporate masters. Have a nice day!

    August 19, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  14. Kittyspop

    Then just DO IT. There is NO BIPARTISANSHIP.

    August 19, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  15. X

    Why negotiate with republicans when they have no interest in getting anything done? They just want to embarrass Obama and maintain the status quo for the insurance companies who give millions to their campaign coffers. After seeing their gun toting lynch mobs and after Grassley spewed his "death panel" nonsense, they have lost all credibility.

    August 19, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  16. Doug, New Jersey

    Here is everything you need to know about Democrats.

    Every single one of them in this country has been crying and yelling about how the republicans are blocking Obama's so called health-care reform. This is a pure clean cut undeniable LIE! Even if every republican in congress voted against the bill, the Democrats could still pass it. This is just the start, they then lie about America's best at these townhall meetings being racists, nazis, and they do their usual race baiting, claiming that people are only against Obama's socialist plans because of his skin color. I suggest google'ing a few of their comments about Rice, Thomas and even Powell to see who really is the racist.

    THey say Bush lied, but he never did. From Reid to Clinton, all libs agreed that Iraq has WMDs, so really this is another lib lie when they say Bush lied.

    Honest people don't vote democrat, and since I just gave you all the facts you will ever need on good and evil in America, you have just lost the right to claim ignorance for supporting the worst people in America, the Democrats.

    August 19, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  17. Stanley Porteur

    Democrats must go it alone with the Health Care reform. The
    Republicans will not vote for anything that is brought before
    the house. That is their way of showing that they do not like
    the President. They have not made such statement but
    that is their way of showing it~~they want him to fail not
    realizing, if he does, the country will fail.

    s

    August 19, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  18. T22

    Nothing like a new tone and a spirit of bipartisanship. Change and hope and all that junk. I guess we now see the guy isn't capable of the heavy lifting required to make that happen.

    August 19, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  19. tony

    Way to go dems the republicans will never sign on to anything this administration does they are the party of noooooooooooo, to heck with bipartisanship we give you the majority because we need a whole host of things done. pass this bill Mr President,and I am becoming
    increasingly angry at you trying to be mister nice guy you need a Bush mindset when it comes to taking care of business for the American people its a pity he used it against us.Their is absolutely no compromise with does bums (the retuglicans) we cannot allow racist and dumb asses to derail our chances of having affordable healthcare. cnn i dare you post this you are not posting my blog and i am getting fed up.

    August 19, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  20. RAG

    The Republican party and its cult-programmed Brown Shrits have sunken to the lowest level of public discourse seen in America since the early Civil Rights Movement.

    They are completely about regaining power by radicalizing the weak-minded into a mob that will cary them back to power. Their whole motivation is Prehendo, Possideo, Et Utor Potentia – The Seizure, Hoarding, and Exercise Of Power.

    The Republican view of the future, to quote Orwell, is, "... a boot grinding into a human face, forever."

    August 19, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  21. Marvin Leslie

    Each day it becomes more apparent that the Republicans in Congress are evermore determined to derail health care reform. It is time for the Democrats to stand up to the "Repulibullies" by taking a stand for the vast majority of Americans, who want to see health care reform. The naysayers to reform have made it clear that they are not interested in bipartisan efforts. Let's "getterdone," Democrats!

    August 19, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  22. Jack in Texas

    Hey! Haven't you guys been paying attention? The majority of the population (your boss) is happy with their healthcare. No need to change, especially to a government-run program. Remember....2010 is right around the corner.

    August 19, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  23. Randolph Carter the cute lil' Obamabot

    "Sources from the administration and the Democratic side of Capitol Hill have told CNN that they're becoming increasingly convinced that Republicans — particularly Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley — involved in the negotiating process aren't serious about striking a deal."

    Gee, ya think??? Have a nice day!

    August 19, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  24. Robert

    Finally, Thank God and Hallejueh!!!!! (and I'm not even religous)...

    It's about bloody time the WH wakes up and realizes the Republicans' only objective is to kill any reform.

    Force it through. We did not elect a Democratic President, Democratic House, and Democratic Senate on the slogan of change to allow the Republicans to stop that change...

    Push it through with the public option – and future generations will revere you for doing the right thing.

    August 19, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  25. Ren from Baltimore

    I agree-a win is a win. Go it alone, get the Republicans out of the way now.

    Republicans have telegraphed very strongly that they are out to sink Obama, no matter what the cost to the nation and its citizens. There was a very good reason this party of buffoons was voted out of office-they are unhealthy to the nation.

    August 19, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
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