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. cmb

    Is there any way this can pass without Republicans? please think of something! please!

    December 2, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  2. Albo58

    Every effort to stop this bill should be used! BAD legislation IS worse than NO legislation at all, Dimrats!

    December 2, 2009 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  3. Susan in NC

    The time for health care reform is NOW!

    December 2, 2009 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  4. Michael

    The Republican Party has selected to be an obstruction to any good idea for a long time.Their fanatical support for attacking Iraq, the outlandish claims of health care disaster and their demeaning and degrading remarks of anyone who disagrees with them is remarkably similar to how the communists, nazi's, dictators and like types. The so called "conservatives" would truly love it if this was a country ruled by "ONE GREAT PARTY,THEM"and no one else. Anyone who disagreed with them would be shot, "They would be the only ones with wealth, health care. No one else deserves it but them. Sounds familiar doesn't it. Iran maybe?

    December 2, 2009 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  5. Peter

    At least 14,000 Americans lose their health insurance coverage every single day.

    If this is not an urgent national crisis, then there has never been one. The GOP is working FOR the health care industry – end of story.

    December 2, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "They have no constitutional right to do it."

    Single biggest lie the GOP is selling about this whole thing...yes, bigger than "death panels." Misrepresenting the Constitutionality of legislation creating an program such as a pubilc option should be considered a violation of a congressperson's Constitutional duties. Some facts:

    The public option does not "take over health care" anymore than Medicare did.

    It's NOT "socialism," but hey, even if it were, the Constitution DOES NOT PROHIBIT SOCIALISM.

    The polls indicate majority support for some form of public option. Some have suggested that there is not majority support for THIS one. Unfortunately, reliance on those polls is disingenuous if you have engaged in a pattern of misinforming the public (i.e., if they don't understand what it is or think it's something it's not, you can't exactly claim they don't support what it really is).

    December 2, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  7. Right Leaning Independent

    Of course they are stalling. The majority of Americans DO NOT want THIS REFORM. We want reform, just not this plan. Many including myself have outlined our thoughts before on reform so stop saying that those that complain have no ideas. As far as I am concerned, the Repubs should take as much time as Obama took to finally decide to send the requested troops to Afghanistan. I mean Americans believe that Obama was soooo intelligent by taking months to come to this decision. Should we not expect the Dems and Repubs to take their time and be equally thoughtful and give healthcare a full analysis?? We do not want them to rush a decision and appear to be Bush-like....

    December 2, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  8. Texas Longhorn talks Truth

    Accuse away you immoral idiots.

    December 2, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  9. MR RIGHT

    If this really was reform and not the biggest waste of taxpayer dollars ever thought up then they wouldnt be stalling, these Democrats are clueless. Good luck in 10 and 12 they are going to need it.

    December 2, 2009 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  10. Victor

    Republicans have slept with the insurance lobbyists, now they have to stand by them. What's an evil Republican to do?

    December 2, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  11. John

    There is no reason to slow down. This has taken way too long already. Polls suggest that America does want this bill, and there is nothing unconstitutional about the bill. The sooner we pass it, the better. People are dying everyday because they don't have insurance. Conservatives need to pull their heads out of the sand and join reality.
    The GOP has only one thing on their mind – the 2010 elections. They know that if they can stall that long, they can campaign on the fact that Democrats couldn't get their bill passed. The GOP could care less about your health!

    December 2, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  12. susie

    The Senators and Congress should be expected to have this health care like the rest of us. If it is good enough for us, then it should be good enough for them!

    December 2, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  13. Mlhall

    Any one who dont want Health Care reform should just not sign up for it I want it, I have work all of 50 years and I get my Health Care for a fee, but I know there are people out there who could use some help with health care. If you say you dont, some thing is wrong with you.

    December 2, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  14. C Spurgeon

    Term Limits for all and down with the incumbents. They are all greedy crooks who only care about their own benefits. Time to change and do the right thing for the country. Health care should be a no brainer and instead we are all in hock to the insurance companies.

    December 2, 2009 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  15. mjm

    Stalling? YES...they are and with good reason

    The bill's a disaster.

    They need to stall the hell out of this bill.

    And smugs….back off the coffee a bit…K?

    December 2, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  16. willy

    what else would you expect from the libs. they have COMPLETE CONTROL OF CONGRESS.....THE RESIDENT IS A LEFTIST DEMOCRAT.

    yet they want to blame the conservatives for it not passing....

    SHOCKING.

    December 2, 2009 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  17. Katie B in NC

    So, let me see if I've got this straight. . . . The GOP Senators, who voted against debating the bill, didn't want to talk about it before but now are trying to talk it to death by pretending to defend a program (Medicare) they've been trying to kill for more than 40 years. Things just keep getting curiouser and curiouser!

    December 2, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  18. TCM

    There's reform, and then there's government takeover. The liberal anti-American democrats want government control, and it's laced through virtually every page of both of the flabby bills. It's a shame that hard working Americans have to tolerate the likes of Reid and Pelosi, so that they can push an agenda that will break the country. Americans should want reform in the way of methods to reduce cost, and tort reform....allowing the government to control this, will control a large part of our economy, destroying much of the free enterprise we have in this nation...would you really want liberal fools, with no leadership or business experience controlling your life? Just because many of you libs don't have health insurance, you're selling your soul to the devil by siding with the Obama administration's agenda.....

    December 2, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  19. TCM

    Barbara independent in NY – if the democrats have their way, they're be no middle class....the working stiffs will be taxes so heavily that the povery line will be moved up...get a clue; the liberals in congress are mentally ill..!!! note – NONE of them are volunteering for their own "great,' plan, huh?

    December 2, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  20. Fitz in Texas

    Keep stalling, you're doing a great job. These Dems may wake up someday soon and understand that 70% of the country does not want their healthcare reform.

    December 2, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  21. David

    Again, I ask – why aren't members of congress required to sign up for this "health care plan." That tells you the true nature of this bill. It is JUNK!

    December 2, 2009 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  22. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    The objective of the GOP isn't to "stall reform," it's, rightly, to stop this massive waste of money in its tracks.

    December 2, 2009 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  23. Get real!

    Take a second everyone and think about this.......I've heard a bunch of people say "A bad bill is better than no bill". I can go along with that; and next time their doctor or mechanic does a half ass job all they'll need to say to them is "Half and operation is better than no operation or half a brake job is better than no brake job". Bet they wouldn't like that!! They need to get this right the first time; there will never be a time later to "fix" it if it doesn't work.

    December 2, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  24. Independent Thinker

    There are some really BAD things in this bill. They need to receive full debate. The Democratic leadership doesn't want to get it right, they just want to get it passed. (I vote Democratic most of the time, but we'll see how well they represent being analytical and thoughtful on this....)

    December 2, 2009 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  25. catmom

    They are stalling , we all know that they have told us so.They could care less about spending OUR tax dollars on American citizens. It is amazing that Republicans are not whining, moaning or groaning about the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Notice that they are upset because President Obama has said that this would not be an open ended war as they want. Why is there money, 1 million dollars per soldier to fight a war in Iraq but no money for health care reform?

    December 2, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
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