January 19th, 2010
11:10 PM ET
5 years ago

Democrat: Suspend health care reform until Brown is seated

Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia said it would be 'fair and prudent' to suspend health care reform legislation.
Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia said it would be 'fair and prudent' to suspend health care reform legislation.

Washington (CNN) – A moderate Democratic senator is calling on his colleagues to shelve health care reform legislation until Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown takes his seat in the United States Senate.

"In many ways the campaign in Massachusetts became a referendum not only on health care reform but also on the openness and integrity of our government process, Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia said in a statement Tuesday after Brown defeated Democrat Martha Coakley in the special election for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy's seat.

"It is vital that we restore the respect of the American people in our system of government and in our leaders. To that end, I believe it would only be fair and prudent that we suspend further votes on health care legislation until Senator-elect Brown is seated."


Filed under: 2010 • Extra • Jim Webb • Massachusetts • Popular Posts • Scott Brown • Virginia
soundoff (212 Responses)
  1. cy

    Lets hope now the Dems don't try to pass something real quick, a form or version of their Health Care reform out of desperation and then tell us 'something is better than nothing.' They are not paid to give us 'something' that is only better than 'NOTHING.' And I am sure glad we as a nation are not going to be saddled with reform costing billions and trillions that is only better than 'NOTHING!!' .. I hope.

    January 19, 2010 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  2. Chris in Virginia

    So one state replaces one senator and this means the rest of the country shouldn't go ahead on health care reform? I live in Virginia, I didn't get a vote tonight, and I'm outraged that my senator is going to defer to the tea leaves of another commonwealth to decide what he believes.

    This was not a referendum on health care; it was a referendum on whether Mass. voters wanted Brown or Coakley as their senator. Any competent Democratic campaign would have won the special election.

    The Dems promised health care reform when they swept the 2008 elections, and presumably they still think reforming health care is the right thing to do. End of story. Scott Brown will just be one senator; the sizable democratic majority in both houses still has an obligation to fight for what they think is right.

    January 19, 2010 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  3. sarah

    wait? lets just drag out the recession for a decade, remember japan's "lost decade" yeah, they are still recovering from their financial collapse over a decade ago. we could do the same too if we drag our feet. recovery won't be instant but we washington needs to do SOMETHING.

    anyone else afraid that obama will leave office without being able to accomplish anything he wanted? anyone else think this "checks and balances" system puts most of the weight on congress which is full of paid off goons.

    January 19, 2010 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  4. Ron

    Wake up Democrats. Massachusetts was not a "fluke". "We the people" are ANGRY and want an open and transparent debate on health care. If it is such a great plan then why are you afraid to let us see it? That is NOT how government is supposed to be run!! Slow down, open debate, and don't FORCE something that most of us don't want. We want REAL Health Care Reform not ideological health reform that is not reform at all. Slow down and let's discuss openly and in a bi-partisan form. Anything less and you will see a MAJOR shift in November.

    January 19, 2010 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  5. Rick Cox

    I agree with Sen Webb. the Dems need to wait for Sen Brown to take his place in the Senate before any more health care legislation is discussed. I am a lifelong Democrat and I never liked the way this whole process was going with this 60 vote super majority thing. The only way to come up with a real solution to this Health Care issue is to have true debate and compromise from both sides to come up with a package that makes some kind of sense. This will force the Reublicans to get really involved in this whole thing instead of just sitting back complaining about it. It will also force the Democrats to listen to alternative views and find a middle ground. This is the way Democracy is supposed to work.

    January 19, 2010 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  6. Showtime - Tampa

    Finally a reasonable democrat!

    January 19, 2010 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  7. bv

    "also on the openness and integrity of our government process"

    It's good to hear that at least one senator gets it!

    January 19, 2010 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  8. Dave

    And it begins.

    First of all, if there's work to do you do it...you don't wait for Senator-elects to be seated, TARP was passed by a lame-duck session because it was deemed necessary. They didn't wait for the Senators-elect.

    But the real issue here is that Jim Webb is simply afraid of what people will say if his party moves ahead. He's afraid to fight for what he believes in. He thinks that by waiting and being "fair and prudent," the angry wingnuts will change their minds and vote for him. They won't, Jim. So stop trying to appease them and just do what's right. You can still get reelected anyway.

    The GOP's problem is that recently it's been pandering to it's most extreme elements. The Dems' problem is that they do the same thing: they pander to the GOP's most extreme (and angriest) elements instead of just having the courage to IGNORE THEM.

    January 19, 2010 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  9. EX-republican

    Is this some kind of cruel hoax?
    How can the People of Massachusetts do this to America?
    You all have health insurance, the rest of America doesn't.
    By letting the GOP have this seat, you will crush healthcare reform.
    I've voted GOP most of my life, but if I lived in MA, I would put a paper bag over my head and cry.

    January 19, 2010 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  10. Barbara

    Suspend it or do you mean blow it off??

    Republicans will never vote to do anything for the American people over their big business friends. I say vote ASAP. Would the Republicans wait???? Give me a break.

    If money is going to be spent.. let it be spent on all Americans... not just the few at the top....

    People in Massachussettes.... you suck !!!! Thanks for everything...

    January 19, 2010 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  11. phillip Marlowe

    Oh don't worry, Webmeister, it is suspended, LOL

    January 19, 2010 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  12. Frank

    May be somewhat disengenious as if the Dem plan is to have the House accept the Senate version then there will be no further Senate votes on Healthcare.

    January 19, 2010 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  13. carole

    Better than that, Sen. Webb, Democrats need to GET SOMETHING
    DONE. It is ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE for nothing to get done
    on health care. Where is the Democratic party when it comes to
    explaining what needs to be done? Why did I hear so little discussion
    and analysis about the Mass. health care plan which clearly influenced how people decided to vote (my brother lives in MA and
    said many, many people figured that "they have theirs", so . . . ). And,
    why, oh why, aren't youi folks calling out the lies, the half-truths, the
    fabrications, etc. of the opposition and their media toadiies?????

    January 19, 2010 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  14. Mark Garney

    Thank God Scott Brown won the election in Mass. Now, we can hopefully
    have a correct balance and check system in our government. I believe the in "We the people". Somewhere, Obama and the Democratic Congress forgot about the American people. Obama and the Democrates need to get out in small town American and see what the people really need. Yes, we do need Health care reform, but not the current bill. I have an excellent health care reform, but I am from the small town America–they would not listen. I wish I could just sit down an talk with Obama on what really needs to be included in the healthcare reform and how we can pay for this. Maybe one day I will get the opportunity to this.

    January 19, 2010 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  15. Bill Wattenberg

    I think Sen. Webb is absolutely right. It's the people in the 'middle of the road" or political mainstream - the centrists or independents, if you will - who ultimately prevail. If you get too far right, like Goldwater, or too far left, like McGovern, you lose. NEWSWEEK, during the 2008 election, called the U.S. a "center-right nation" and published a cover story on how a President Obama should govern in the event he won. Yet despite the fact that he has the potential to become one of our greatest presidents, a truly transformational leader, he has surprisingly ignored that advice, as he has the record of the Clinton administration, who initially made the same mistake.

    January 19, 2010 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  16. Tony Verrier

    I'm so happy Massachusettes woke up and smelled the coffee. I hope this sends a clear message that America DOES NOT WANT this health care reform reform.

    January 19, 2010 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  17. Mike

    He is one of the few rational people making statments out of either the House or Senate in the last few days. Opposed to his collegues "what we have is better than nothing" and the threat to not seat Brown until the legislation is passed Webb seems like a Senator who is actually holding true to his job title. You are not put in government to make a legacy, you are put there to represent the people of your state!

    January 19, 2010 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  18. Bill

    Now this is real change!

    January 19, 2010 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  19. disgustedman

    Uh, that Democrat better be careful, his party may look at another Dem to replace him. Sounds like he's smart and thoughtful, not like any Democrat I ever saw!

    January 19, 2010 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  20. Minnesota gal

    Restore respect and openness ..that's something the previous administration should have done. I think this congress has shown more openness in one year than the previous did in eight.

    I think if the republicans were not so set on blocking, obstructing and lying about everything more things would have been done. they are so whinny and moany about loosing the majority so they could not ram stuff thru to cripple this country further they won't let any bill be properly voted on.

    January 19, 2010 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  21. vwrtb

    Congratulations Mass.. Another defeat to women's rights! Hail to the almighty corporations and spit on the middle class!

    January 19, 2010 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  22. Pam Desgrosellier

    "Keep On Truckin'", Senator Brown - all the way to the White House!!

    January 19, 2010 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  23. Brian

    Hey Sen. Webb, why are you trying to kill the health care legislation? Are you the next Lieberman?

    January 20, 2010 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  24. cbngr

    Sounds like a good idea.

    January 20, 2010 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  25. Mike

    This spells the end of the demorat tax and spend spree they have been on for a year. The demorats better get their act together or they will all be sent home in November,you know, maybe I hope they do not listen to the Mass election of 'SENATOR BROWN, that would be the best thing to happen.

    January 20, 2010 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
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