December 2nd, 2009
05:28 PM ET
8 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. Keep stalling and......

    then kill it altogether........

    December 2, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  2. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    If we can prevent another stimulus bill fiasco then they should take the time needed. If this concept has been around since Teddy Roosevelt, what's a few more weeks to make sure it's right? I'm thinking the Dems don't want people reading it before they can pass it.

    December 2, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  3. Ron

    yeah, it's "stalling" to have a well thought out discussion on alternatives healthcare options, yet spend 3 months on making a decision on funding or supporting the troops buildup while our troops die in the fields.... now that's different!

    Even with the big corporate sponsorship of AARP, it continues to fail to garner much free will support. The AARP alternative, American Seniors Association, see their memberships increase as more and more seniors drop membership in AARP.

    No amount of arm-twisting, coercion or Lousianna vote buying make this any more palatable to the general public.

    Health care reform.. Yes! This reform....No!

    December 2, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  4. Ken Williams

    What a bunch of crap. The liberals hold a super majority and they still can't get their agenda through. Its because their a bunch of spine less cowards who lack the courage of their convictions.

    December 2, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  5. www.circleparkforum.com

    Democrats accuse Republicans of stalling on health care reform, and the American people accuse Democrats of having ruined it:

    H R 3962's Stupak Amendment

    Anna Eshoo's gift to PhRMA

    Baucus's Senate Finance Committee's bill w/o a public option

    Ben Nelson... the list goes on and on.

    What are Reid, Pelosi and Obama doing about these fake Democrats hijacking health care?

    December 2, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  6. Jerry

    Yes, we need to rush to ensure all the lazy, illegal and self destructive people get free health care paid for by the tax payers of America. Mean while the congress will be certain to cover their own butts and unions with tax relief. Hope is not a plan folks

    December 2, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  7. usualone

    The Republicans don't want to work with the Democrats at all for any common good of the American public. We are kidding ourselves that they want to work with the Democrats. That has been illustrated from Day 1 of the Obama administration. I can only think of one way they might be working with the Democrats, and that is too awful to mention here. Let's just say 9/11 as an example.

    December 2, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  8. ex republican

    You tea baggers just don’t get it do you …The working people of this country need healthcare reform. How many tax paying Americans don’t go to the doctor because they cant afford the bill, even after the insurance pays the premium ?? its time , time to move to a new world ..i pay my taxs and I want healthcare reform , my family needs it and so do millions of Americans .. these old tea baggers need to do something with them selves instead of sitting at home waiting for pollsters to call them . Only the old people who will be dead soon complain about healthcare ..GET OVER IT ..we the younger generation want healthcare reform .. go walk the mall or something else then trying to keep things the same. The greatest, riches country in the entire world cant even give their hard working tax paying citizens healthcare????? For god’s sake, France gives their people house call doctors… give me a break …

    December 2, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  9. john

    Of course the Rupugs don't want health reform,It benifits the lower classes and stops abuse by their friends in the health fields. Why that would rune everything they hold dear-putting the screws to us.I say it's high time we throw out once and for all the Republican party, Get rid of them, they certainly don't care about the average Joe. they are the party,as Bushy said, of the have mores. what do they know about working 7 days a week like I have for the past 5 years to put food on the table,and pay bills.

    December 2, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  10. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    And we needed a Ticker entry to confirm this, why?

    The Party of NO has the stated agenda for this President and thus this country to "fail".

    December 2, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  11. Colorado Dude

    Why wouldn't the republicans stall. It is a horrible bill! It does nothing but require hard working Americans pay for the healthcare of individuals who do nothing but ask for handouts. I have no faith that this would help our system.

    December 2, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  12. Unemployed In Iowa because of Obama

    And as an Independent I am accusing Obanana and his fellow democrates of dealing with terroist, lies, tax cheats, rationing health care to seniors, cutting medicare and putting our sons and daughters in harms way with the afgan police action called a war.

    December 2, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  13. Seth in Jacksonville, FL

    Stop stalling. You lost the election. America wants reform.

    December 2, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  14. wsa

    If the Dems can pull this off, the country will be on such a better trajectory that three years from now the GOP will be saying that they were responsible for the improvements.

    This happened with the Clinton tax rise - not ONE Republican voted for it, and when the bond market stabilized because it was apparent that the US was going to address its fiscal problems - the GOP claimed they had been responsible -

    These clowns are a bunch of malevolent, mendacious thieves who rely on the fact that a good 25% of the electorate doesn't know up from down. Shameless. Destructive. Rotters.

    December 2, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  15. Rummie

    They had enough rope, Reid needs to reign in it and get it to the floor.

    December 2, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  16. billy

    I hope the bill is put off untill next year. This may be the only way the senators will listen to their constituents.The polls show that the public is more focused on the economy. This is a good example of politicians forgetting who serves who. They believe they know whats best., the elections will remind them that the eletorate can vote their self rightous butts out of office

    December 2, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  17. Dave

    There is a reform, which involves changing what is not working well etc. etc. but the democrats want to re-form America! this type of re-forming our country in a way it does not mean to be, is dangerous!

    December 2, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  18. Gerry NH

    Today Harry Reid wanted to exclude congressional employees to be able to opt out of the universial health care bill. I asked Sen Sheheen if she would take it and she never answered my question when she answered my e-mail. I also asked representative Porter the same question and her reply was if she didn't like her plan so well that she would be happy to take the public plan. Yeah right this independent will be voting no for them.

    December 2, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  19. t.Tulsa

    I can't for the life of me figure out how anyone with at least one brain cell could follow the republican line of reasoning. They are full with small-minded hate-filled bigoted rhetoric. They are not concerned about those without insurance. They are hell-bent on destroying this very capable and compassionate president. Mr. Obama is the best thing to happen to this country in decades. Why can't all Americans support the efforts of this gentleman? He holds no animosity or hatred against any man or group. He is merely trying to do the best for this country.
    The republicans appear dedicated to the destruction of this county because they refuse to support this democratically elected president.
    I am ashamed of that part of our society. Its disgusting.

    December 2, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  20. Idiot_Pelosi

    DURBIN, You're about as useless as Mrs Botox (PELOSI).

    No one is buying what you are selling because it smells like ,,,,,,

    December 2, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  21. mary

    why should democrats even worry about the republicans.
    just move forward and get this done already.
    we are tired of current system and all the people going without insurance.
    republicans would love to be in control and this country would be in such a mess.

    December 2, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  22. Another Reformed Republican

    Is anyone surprised that the Refusenik party would try to slow healthcare reform? The Refuseniks do not want to reform healthcare; they want to kill any reform because it would cut into the profits of big business.

    December 2, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  23. phoenix86

    ELEVEN months until the democrats are out of power. Counting the days....

    December 2, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  24. m smith

    of course they are delaying the bill thats why Mc Cain is sending telephone messagfges out to the different astates saying to tell your congressmen to vote no. Bunch of liers. The repos are a disgrace to the people of this country who need health care. They talk about patriotism only if it lines their pockets.

    December 2, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  25. Republicans is smart in the head area

    They've been stalling since the Roosevelt administration...

    December 2, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
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