December 2nd, 2009
05:28 PM ET
7 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. Rose

    What is the big hurry Dems?? Harry Reid said himself he is under no time line, we must get this right! Now they want to rush it through so Obama can sign this monster and keep his word. Again, it is all about partisanship not what is best for the people. SLOW DOWN AND GET IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME.

    December 2, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  2. Barbara Independent in NY

    Haven't the Democrats figured out what the rest of America knows–the Republicans don't want health care reform. Why on earth would the Republicans want something that would benefit the Middle Class?

    December 2, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  3. Rich (Charleston, SC)

    Of course they are stalling, as well as they should. This is an absolute terrible bill, full of tricks and falsehoods which will NEVER happen, which will increase the cost of insurance to amercians not lower it, and doesn't come close to adressing the real question of how do we contain "heathcare" costs. This is nothing more but an attempt by the liberal democrrats to have the government control the healthcare of this country, regardles if it makes sense, is cost effective, or if the american people want it. They know they could never get the people behind it (if they are so sold on its merit, then why not postpone it until next fall and see what the people want), so lets just ram it downs the peoples throats anyway. I say keep stalling.

    December 2, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. smugs

    I think its about following the $ as ususal, tug war and game of shells about the funding for health care and wars, war mongers want the all the $ for wars but not welfare projects and will gripe about how much health care costs but real quiet about the war costs, anti-war socialist want the $ for health care programs but then dont offer any alternatives to war as way to solve the terroism issues, which might be served by bettering the infrastructure and living conditions for Afghans as opposed to fighting, a Russian general said something like that in a story I read today, only person I heard say that recently at least.

    December 2, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  5. true daughter of the american revolution

    of course they're stalling.
    they've already said they will stall and do their best to kill this health care reform bill.
    what's new here?
    nothing.
    why would we expect this to go down any other way?
    the democrats can't even keep their guys in line.
    face it – nobody in washington really wants to get healthcare reform handled.
    if they did, drug lobbyists, republican nay-sayers would not make any different; it would simply get done.
    best to look at the hidden agenda and the real reasons this will never get done.
    the best we can hope for is a requirement to buy healthcare, a penalty if we don't, and more profits for the insurance companies.
    that's what the republicans and certain democrats (LIEberman) have wanted all along.
    all this press is just to wear us down...and distract us from the truth.
    i have ADD:
    Advanced Democratic Disillusionment

    December 2, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. John D.

    The Democrats still do not get it. They had better check the polls. We are fed up with their crap trying to take over our healthcare system. They have no constitutional right to do it. They have no power to do it. The States alone have the power over their healthcare. The Republicans have offered constittutionally correct ideas that the Democrats won't even look at but offhandedly dismiss them. They want to control the people, PERIOD. That is their only goal. Once they get that they will then go after our guns because they will be considered health risks. Think about it.

    December 2, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  7. AJ

    Screw he GOP. There are many in the Democratic party that are doing their best to derail healthcare reform. Most of them are insurance company shills and are lining their pockets at the expense of Americans.

    December 2, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  8. Mark

    Why do people insist the Democrats are taking over? You call trying to get reform taking over? Seems the Dems are simply trying to make progress which is more than I can say about the Republicans. If the Republicans can't get their heads out, the Dems should pass healthcare reform WITHOUT them. The only way to fix this is to abolish the Republicans.

    December 2, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  9. Razorback

    Hey, the President took his time to decide what to do in Afghanistan, probably his most important foreign policy decision. And unlike some of my fellow conservatives, I think it was the right thing to do. Now the Democrats in the Senate are trying to rush health care, probably the most important domestic decision, without taking time to properly study it. Taking their time is also the right thing to do.

    December 2, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  10. Jake

    Hey Rose!

    "What's the big hurry?" how about affordable healthcare for all Americans!? you see no urgency in that!? you're an idiot!

    Newsflash....the GOP does not want Americans to have affordable healthcare. They screwed it up in 1994 and here they are dragging their feet again!

    December 2, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  11. Four and The Door

    The heading for this article is misleading. It actually suggests that the Senate bill is Health Care Reform. Usually "Reform" would suggest improvement. The Senate bill proposed by the Democrats just increases the cost of health care and does nothing to improve quality. No reform there!

    December 2, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  12. Caroline Karamian

    The GOP will try to stop the health care reform by any parliamenary tricks that they can manage, that's no secret.

    December 2, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  13. Franny

    Of course they're stalling. They (the AMA, Big Insurance, MDs with BMWs, Big Pharma, etc.) are scared to death others like the 45 million uninsured in the US will get what they have too and thus create a more equitable and just society for all. Not just for the Fat Cats.

    December 2, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  14. diridi

    don't nag, brag...you have majority...nation needs health care reform with public option...to have competition, public option is a must...or else, insurance thugs will rob the nation...do not watch nasty commericials by GOP thugs....ok

    December 2, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  15. Whine Whine Whine

    The democrats aren't trying to push it through, they are simply saying that the republicans aren't doing anything besides saying "NO" If they don't agree with the healthcare reform, fine, but they need to come up with ways to change it. They aren't coming up with anything and are therefor being obstructionist.

    December 2, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  16. Mike in MN

    GOOD FOR THE GOP!!! Now if they could only bring it to a compete stop and force a good common sense bill, one we can afford, to be written.

    December 2, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  17. Enough

    Quit blaming the GOP, this is your baby and you don't need the GOP to destroy our health care.............Democrats are 100% responsible so quit your complaining and get ready to get booted out of office for it.

    December 2, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  18. single mom

    The Democrats must think Americans are really stupid. We can count and we know that this is NOT being held up by the Republicans. The Dems have the numbers, so why the hold-up? Because enough Democrats have realized their party has been hijacked by the far left and their constituents (the ones who actually put them into office) aren't happy about it. And yes, I believe the Republican party has been hijacked by the far right.
    Somewhere in the middle is reason. We just haven't found it yet as a country.

    December 2, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  19. victim of the false prophet OBAMA

    when did the word disaster turn into reform ?

    December 2, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  20. ide

    being an observer of US politic , democratic party is weak with a bunch of traitors. where republicans stand like one person, democrats can't. It s not republicans who gonna kill the bill just dems themselves. Pathetic!!

    December 2, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  21. josephine

    The Dems should realize by now if not already that anything and everything they try to pass whether good or bad irregardless will be shot down by the Repubs. They do not want the Dems to succeed in any shape or form.The Republicans believe that if they are able to show the public that the Dems have done nothing under this administration they will gain in 2010 and 12. The "do nothing dems" will be their talking point.

    December 2, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  22. T'SAH from Virginia

    Well, the War may stall it also............ Health Care may be put off until 2010 anyway............ NOW, the REPUKES have nothing to CAMPAIGN about or have town hall meetings about or HATE about. But then again, they will think of something – like PICK on the President because he set a DEADLINE to get out of Afghanistan.

    I don't care – if anyone else was President now the state of the UNION will still be the SAME!!

    December 2, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  23. Frank

    It's funny how of a sudden we have all these experts on health care issues. They certainly are smart all of a sudden. They are obstructionists
    plain and simple. The insurance and pharmaceutical companies along with the banks are preying on American citizens. The money they're making is full of greed and it will not come back to the US.

    Why are we celebrating negativism and non-constructive action?

    All for the news? We need Mental Health Insurance.

    December 2, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  24. from the middle

    While we're at it; let's do away with medicare, public education, FDA, unions, weekends, child labor laws, pensions, etc. I agree with the GOP! We need to bring back the GILDED AGE!! & in a hurry!

    December 2, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  25. ps

    We have already spent 1 trillion in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to promote democracy, so that the big cooporations can make more money. Why not spend 1 trillion over 10yrs to give resonable medical care to the US citizens . A

    December 2, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
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