December 2nd, 2009
05:28 PM ET
9 months ago

Democrats accuse GOP of stalling reform

(CNN) – After three days of debate in the Senate over health care reform, Senate Democrats accused Republicans Wednesday of slow-walking the legislation and searched for parliamentary procedures to speed up the discussion.

So far, only a handful of amendments have been considered and no votes have occurred.

"Unless the Republican leadership comes forward with a reasonable approach to these amendments, I think our patience is wearing thin," Senate Majority Whip Dick Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, said. "They don't want to call these amendments for votes and we're just not going to sit here forever and see this bill go down."

Republicans denied they are purposely delaying action on the bill, but said they won't agree to end debate on individual amendments until they've had ample time to consider them. One pending amendment is authored by Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, which aims to prevent cuts to Medicare contained in the Democrats' bill.

"They're not done talking about it," a GOP leadership aide said of Republican senators and the McCain amendment. "There's still a large amount of people who want to talk about it. When they're done, then we'll do it."

If the two sides can't reach agreements on the length of debate for amendments and when votes will be held, Democrats could use several floor procedures to accelerate the debate. But each procedure also contains potential pitfalls that make Democrats reluctant to employ them.

At a closed meeting Wednesday on the subject, Senate Democrats vowed to work weekends and even Christmas Day, if necessary, to pass the bill by the end of the year, their stated goal.


Filed under: Health care • Senate
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. m jeff

    The GOP has no will or no plans to discuss healthcare reform, because they don't work for the people, they work for the Insurance Industry.

    December 2, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  2. Bren

    EVERYTHING that the Democrats pass now---will be able to be overturned when the Democrats are clobbered and sent to the unemployment lines in 2010 and 2012.

    The MAJORITY in our country--based on numerous polls--have made it clear that they do NOT want this health care disaster.

    Yet, the Democrats are going to try to shove it down our throats anyways.

    The 2010 elections will make history--as to the number of Democrats who are booted from office!!!!

    December 2, 2009 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  3. ran

    I say go for the 51 vote option now and give us single payer non-profit universal health care now.

    I would love to see the fear on the Republicans, blue dog's, Lieberman's and private insurance companies' faces once that was done.

    No ones health should be for profit.

    December 2, 2009 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  4. Sue

    Of course they are....that's what they know how to do....stall the government process and start wars!

    December 2, 2009 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  5. New Age Independent

    Washington Democrats simply cant be truthful here. The bold fact is that reform legislation would have already passed if they were truly interested in Health Reform. Instead, they want power and control over the entire health system with their own public option. If the public option was gone, we would all be enjoying health reforms and cost controls, instead the public waits...

    December 2, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  6. nathan smith ga

    this is just the gop playing games with the american people as usual. i am sick of the elitist gop crap. we must vote these wicked men out of office. may God bless those who have the courage to get this bill passed

    December 2, 2009 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  7. Preston kathy

    Pkm i remember the gop wanted to get rid of unions after 40 hours no ouer time as long as the gop has there healt care forget the poor and the middle class

    December 3, 2009 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
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