March 1st, 2010
02:13 PM ET
5 years ago

Liberal group tries to round up votes for public option

Sen. Dick Durbin is one of five senators who submitted a statement in support of passing a public option by way of reconciliation to a liberal group over the weekend.
Sen. Dick Durbin is one of five senators who submitted a statement in support of passing a public option by way of reconciliation to a liberal group over the weekend.

Washington (CNN) - A liberal group that last week said the White House has a "loser mentality" is continuing to round up support for using the parliamentary maneuver called reconciliation to pass a health care public option.

"Robert Gibbs had a loser mentality when he said 50 votes don't exist in the Senate for the public option when well over 50 existed before," Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder Adam Green told CNN. "We're going to prove him wrong."

The PCCC has added five senators to its list of those who have expressed support for using reconciliation - which requires a simple 51-vote majority in the Senate - to pass a public option.  The number of senators who support the cause now totals 30.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin's office is among the five senators to submit a statement to the PCCC this weekend.


"Sen. Durbin has long been a supporter of the public option," Communications Director Joe Shoemaker told the PCCC.  "I don't know whether the votes exist in the Senate right now, but if the House version of the public option came up for a vote in reconciliation Sen. Durbin would vote yes."

Sens. Patty Murray, Jeff Bingaman, Ben Cardin and Amy Klobuchar sent similar letters of support.


Filed under: Dick Durbin • PCCC
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. S.B.

    I hope they keep pushing on the public option. It just makes more sense than some of the other gimmicks some of the senators are supporting. Sure, it'll make the Republicans mad, but they don't want any kind of significant health care changes anyhow, and won't vote for any so who cares what they think! I just can't believe that they keep saying we have the greatest health care system in the world when so many Americans are dying because they can't get treatment. Since the Democrats are going to have to use reconciliation anyhow, they should just do everything they can to make it an ideal bill.

    March 1, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  2. Hammerer

    Dems use the excuse for using reconciliation that the Repubs used it more than one time.
    Might I remind the Dems that the reason the Dems are in a majority is the Repubs made a mess of the government and were booted out.
    Do you want the same?

    March 1, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. J.P.

    Go ahead. Please go on the record and vote for this thing...
    we need voters to see who to remove this year.

    Healthcare = congressional career killer

    Feeling lucky, punk?

    March 1, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  4. Lakuma

    The American People need and deserve a Public Option! It's about about choice and competition. Give us a PUBLIC OPTION!

    March 1, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  5. voice of reason

    Funny how the idea that creating competition for the insurance monopolies is somehow part of a "liberal agenda".

    March 1, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  6. T'SAH from Virginia

    YES WE CAN!!! That would REALLY put some backbone on the DEMS!!!

    March 1, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  7. Bill

    You just named senators that sent letters of support. How about telling us what their votes sold for. Like Mary Landrieu and the "Louisiana Purchase" and Ben Nelsons "Cornhusker Caper"
    Every day we see proof that "Money Talks" liberals love money.

    March 1, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  8. Preston kk

    Pkm the gop does not care for any one but there selfs mr obama do what you have to do do not listen to selfes people

    March 1, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  9. Brian Siefert

    Wow. Nothing like seeing the Dems in disarray. All I can say is their prideful self-destruct is the nation's salvation. I'm sick of their whining about not getting anything done when they have held–and still hold–such a large majority. It just goes to show that unchecked liberalism is a losing bet. November will not get here soon enough for me!

    March 1, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  10. jules sand-perkins

    If a majority of the American people were in groups as liberal as PCCC, the public option would have been passed earlier.
    PCCC's problem is that most citizens are against the public option.

    March 1, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  11. Dick Cheney For President In 2012

    Watching the Democrats commit political suicide has been more entertaining than watching the Winter Olympics.

    March 1, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  12. El Gordo

    Any way to ram the health bill through is a good day. When Conservatives are in power, they are perfectly willing to use any means, fair or foul, to win. They overturned the 2000 election. They threatened the "nuclear option" to eliminate the filibuster rule (and the Democrats could not cave in fast enough). They would hold House votes open for hours while they twisted arms and threatened reprisals. They are not interested in America, Americans, or democracy. They are interested in their own power and wealth. The consider the middle-class to be the loser class that deserves nothing. Why are Democrats so afraid of these scoundrels?

    If Democrats don't eventually do something – anything – anything at all – to earn their salaries then there is no hope for the future of this union. Conservatism has us at the breaking point. They ran up $8 trillion in debt during the Reagan, Bush, and Bush Administrations. They will rack up another few trillion of we let them feed at the public trough again.

    I was kind of hoping for some leadership from Democrats. Republicans offer lots of leadership – over the cliff.

    March 1, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  13. Jack Lowe

    Run up the "blood red flag" mates. Let them have what they've been asking for!

    March 1, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  14. Can't Wait Til November

    It's groundhog day (again and every day) on the healthcare debacle that's going nowhere fast. Jobs are really nowhere to be found on the administration's agenda. But if gov't healthcare isn't passed, well... they're just gonna have to give you another deadline to pass it!

    March 1, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  15. Rasabu

    We should all be contacting our reps in both houses to get them to support reconciliation.

    March 1, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  16. Willy Brown

    Liberals are losers.

    March 1, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. Karene Nagel

    I am glad to hear that Sen. Durbin's vote would be a YES – since he is my Senator; and Sen. Burris has already signed on in support as well! The change we voted for when we elected my former Senator Obama to be President – would be a health care reform which would definitely include the public option!!! Let's get this thing DONE!

    March 1, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  18. El Kababa

    I don't believe the Democratic Party could organize a bake sale. We Democrats should quit voting in primaries. Let's just create a lottery and pick our candidates at random. That way, we would occasionally select a man or woman with the right stuff: some courage, a willingness to fight for what's right, a little compassion for other people who are less fortunate, and a willingness to stand up and be counted.

    I think I'm going to switch to the Vegetarian Party or the Flat Earth Party. At least those people stand up for what they believe in. Democrats have the backbone of a banana, the courage of a leaf in the wind, and the determination of a butterfly. Thank God Harry Truman is not alive to see this day.

    March 1, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  19. liberal wingnut

    Im so glad these small liberal groups can represent so much of the population. NOT

    March 1, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  20. Allen

    The Repubs will somehow, by hook or crook or both, manage to scuttle this. It's a miracle Social Security still exists. After all, W even tried to privatize it, but thank God failed. They'd sell their own mothers if it meant a profit for them.

    March 1, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  21. progressive

    The bill they have is half full half empty while insurance companies can still make lots of money and do anything in terms of the cost goes. I understand that there is whole lot of waste in medical practices like hospital charging 20K for delivery a baby and 3-5 days hospital stay and ibuprofen costing over couple hundred bucks just for a tablet. We need to overhaul the system and this is a good start though there is no teeth if we have no competition, so I support public option.

    March 1, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  22. John independent from NY

    Start over from scratch the legislation is junk. NO PUBLIC OPTION EITHER. NO FREEBIES ANYWHERE.

    March 1, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  23. John in WV

    Tax payers pay to provide health care to those who won't work and can't work. Tax payers pay to provide lawmakers with health care and the vast majority of them are rich. This gov't gives tax breaks to the wealthy so they can have the best health care possible. What's in the middle? Millions of hard working Americans that paid into medicare and social security, paid federal and state taxes all their lives and all they get in the way of health care is to be layed at the mercy of insurance companies that have complete control of their medical and financial well being. Public option, lowering medicare age requirements, taxing the rich to pay for it and using reconciliation to get it done is what these people deserve.

    March 1, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  24. Chris L.

    Over the past month, democratic senators and even some congressmen have revived what I call the most important piece of the Health care bill: The Public Option. Liberal groups have not backed down from reviving and bring the Public Option on the table. This shows that they are still fighting hard and pressuring our leaders in Washington that the number 1 reason why the public is not so fan of this healthcare bill is because the Public Option was not included in the Senate Bill, when in fact it was widely popular nationwide.

    I am telling you, most of these polls that indicate that the public does not like this Health care bill is in fact because an awesome idea or piece such as the Public Option is not there. Back in the fall when thoughtout the country people where surveyed and even explained what the public option is and what it would do in great details to cut cost and as well have the individuals choose from a pool of insurance coverages, they responded very well that they liked the Public Option.

    I really pray that our President will not compromise or concede anymore on this. A single payer system is the most effective way to have universal healthcare for all and have a level playing field. But if President Obama cannot champion even a single-payer system, then please,please champion the Public Option, which when you think of it is the people's true insurance coverage that will hold the insurance companies accountable and truly reduce cost. I voted for Obama, I still supoort him very much and he is doing a good job overall despite the immensity of the mess the Republicans have left us. But I just pray and ask our President to have a strong spine and fight for the american people to have the Public Option in the Bill. I am telling you, the Republicans have been saying nothing but huge lies about what the Public Option is and that its a government take over. Pure,pure lies! Its mindboggling how these representative to their constituents can lie like that to them.

    Wake up America! Republican leaders do not want see America succeed under a Democratic Party. Even if half of their own ideas were incorporated in the Bill.

    I really hope we can get the Public Option in the final version of the bill, through the Reconciliation vote!

    March 1, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  25. Ben

    A liberal group that last week said the White House has a "loser mentality"

    Really? What took them so long to figure that out? Trying to win the healthcare argument with emotion instead of facts and logic ain't gonna get it done. If this travesty passes, the real losers will be the American people.

    March 1, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
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