October 26th, 2009
02:03 PM ET
4 years ago

Clyburn: 60 shouldn't be 'the crucial number' for Senate health bill

Clyburn said Senate Democrats should move forward even if they don't have 60 votes.
Clyburn said Senate Democrats should move forward even if they don't have 60 votes.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Citing a recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, House Majority Whip James Clyburn said Monday that the Senate Majority Leader should use a budgetary maneuver to pass health care reform with a government-run insurance option if Democrats do not have the 60 votes necessary to break a filibuster.

According to the survey released last week, 61 percent of Americans favor a public health insurance option that would compete with private plans. Support for the public option rose six point since an earlier poll in August.

"I can't imagine that 60 percent of the United States Senate will deny 61 percent of the American people the opportunity to get what they say they want," Clyburn said Monday in an interview on CNN's Newsroom. "So I would say to Senator [Harry] Reid that 60 ought not be the crucial number. Fifty ought to be the crucial number."

Clyburn said that if there are 52 or 53 Democratic votes for some form a public health insurance in the Senate, then Senate Majority Leader Reid should use a budgetary maneuver called "reconciliation" to bypass the usual 60 vote threshold needed to get to a vote on the Senate floor.

"And I do believe that the time has come to make 50 the number," the South Carolina Democrat said. "Reconciliation has been provided for in our budget resolution. It is time for us to stop the snail's pace. Stop running out the clock. And start getting done for the American people what they tell us they would like to see done."

Clyburn's comments came on the same day that Reid is set to have an afternoon press conference in which he is expected to announce that he has finalized the Senate version of the health care reform bill.

It remains unclear whether Reid has lined up the 60 votes needed to get to a vote through the normal procedures.


Filed under: Democrats • Health care • James Clyburn • Popular Posts • Senate
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Victim of Obama Greed

    I'd like to know which survery says 61%? All credible polls show that less than 50% support it.

    October 26, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. Bluebonnet

    Sure he wants the reconciliation way out – he wants all the entitlement, lazy bums in his district/state to maintain their status quo! That is, free governmental gimmees!

    October 26, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. Pepou

    Who cares about 60, the magic number ?? Health care reform NOW with a strong public option. 62% of Americans want it !!!!!!

    October 26, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  4. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    I can't imagine a quicker way of getting Democrats tossed wholesale in 2010.

    I have no idea where Clyburn got his 61% number. Rasmussen shows only 45% of voters favouring the current plan, 57% believe it will raise the cost of health care, and 53% believe the quality of care will get worse. 49% say doing nothnig at all is better than what Congress is considering; only 39% say the current plan will improve anything at all.

    October 26, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  5. Seriously, Left

    This is probably from the same poll that says the president's job approval rating is in the high 50's.

    October 26, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  6. LacrosseMom

    Happy 60th and THANK YOU for fighting for those of us who unlike the LOBBYISTS do not have a voice!

    October 26, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  7. Jann in Denver

    I agree, just get it done.

    October 26, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. Four and The Door

    Wouldn't it seem more responsible to verify that the economy is out of danger first and then talk about spending $900 billion to raise the cost of health care in the US?

    October 26, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. Hammerer

    The truth is that the healthcare that congress is proposing to pass is opposed by 60% or more of the American people, but truth or honesty has nothing to do with government.

    October 26, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  10. DAVE

    and I would really like to know where he is getting the 68% of the country wants a govt. ran health care bill...... Rasmussen Poll shows that the majority of the country "DOES NOT" want a govt. plan period.....

    October 26, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  11. www.firedoglake.com

    Thank you, Rep. Clyburn!

    The Senate must pass real health care reform, which has to include a strong public health insurance option.

    Senate Democrats should do it because it's popular.

    Senate Democrats should do it because it's the morally right thing to do.

    Senate Democrats should do it because it's the politically smart thing to do.

    The Senate Democrats should do it because, if they don't, we'll be facing a Republican Senate come Jan 2011.

    October 26, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  12. Melissa

    I completely agree.

    October 26, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  13. John Black Hills/SD

    Rep. Clyburn is 100% correct, the "Public Option" is too important, and Americans want it, the 60 vote needed to advance the issue means nothing to Americans in the real world.. The Public Option sets the price for insurers.

    October 26, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  14. Jane/Seattle

    Agreed! We The People have Spoken! The Lunatic Fringe of Tea Partiers, Birthers, and plain outright Faux-Blathering NUTS do not represent this population of the uninsured! I say SCREW the Health Insurance Lobby! WE LIVEm Therefore, WE deserve good healthcare! No one's health need to an impetus for Profits of Leeching Predators!

    October 26, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  15. Retired-Vet

    Where do the 60% numbers come from? What question was actually asked? How you ask the question is important.

    October 26, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  16. Ed Tallahassee

    let the Republicans filibuster, and let the Ameircan People see that they would rather Block Legislation by talking about it then getting off their bums and doing something to help All Americans!

    October 26, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  17. Fools and their freedoms are soon parted

    Right anyone who wants to uphold the Constitution they swore to protect should vote against federally funded health care. It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL

    October 26, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  18. Mike Syracuse, NY

    Spoken like a true Democrat. If you can't win with the present rules, change them. there are 60 democratic Senators, they can pass this on their own. If they need to resort to games, it's time to change 60 to 49 in the next election.

    October 26, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  19. Oh yeah, lots of change

    Stop thrusting your Socialistic Dummocrapitc ideas down my throat. If the Republicans had tried this you would have been screaming bloody murder. YOU need to realize that not every American believes that you need a public option. I don't want to loose my health insurance to the gimpy public controlled medical system. And, don't insult me by saying that states can opt out. You'll use your bully pulpit scammers like ACORN to convince the states that it's the only way that it can work.

    October 26, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  20. Julia - Native American from Idaho

    We need a public option to ensure that the Frank and Jesse James Insurance Companies of American know there is now some competition. The are not interested in you health only money. And I apologize to Frank and Jesse James, they were never as big a rip off as the rotten insurance companies have been to the American People.

    October 26, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  21. Julia - Native American from Idaho

    We need a public option to ensure that the Frank and Jesse James Insurance Companies of American know there is now some competition. The are not interested in you health only money. And I apologize to Frank and Jesse James, they were never as big a rip off as the rotten insurance companies have been to the American People. . . . . . .

    October 26, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  22. Greg, MN

    The good news to this idea means that after 2010 there absolutely will not be 60 or likely 50 votes controlled by a single party. A shift and a rise of independents is on its way!

    October 26, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  23. idealistic

    me thinks he is an idealist

    the party of 'no' makes thinking like this a daily necessity

    but... they would be responsible for lack of healthcare if 60 weren't how dems thought

    and there might be more cross the ailes thinking

    interesting

    October 26, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  24. Sam in Albuquerque

    Makes sense to me. If the majority of Americans want something that a minority is standing in the way of, just go around them. It's time to break the strangle-hold that the health insurance industry has on our health and our lives!

    October 26, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  25. Independant Vet

    How about letting the people Vote4.

    October 26, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
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