October 26th, 2009
02:03 PM ET
12 years ago

Clyburn: 60 shouldn't be 'the crucial number' for Senate health bill

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/26/art.clyburn1026.cnn.jpg caption="Clyburn said Senate Democrats should move forward even if they don't have 60 votes."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Citing a recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, House Majority Whip James Clyburn said Monday that the Senate Majority Leader should use a budgetary maneuver to pass health care reform with a government-run insurance option if Democrats do not have the 60 votes necessary to break a filibuster.

According to the survey released last week, 61 percent of Americans favor a public health insurance option that would compete with private plans. Support for the public option rose six point since an earlier poll in August.

"I can't imagine that 60 percent of the United States Senate will deny 61 percent of the American people the opportunity to get what they say they want," Clyburn said Monday in an interview on CNN's Newsroom. "So I would say to Senator [Harry] Reid that 60 ought not be the crucial number. Fifty ought to be the crucial number."

Clyburn said that if there are 52 or 53 Democratic votes for some form a public health insurance in the Senate, then Senate Majority Leader Reid should use a budgetary maneuver called "reconciliation" to bypass the usual 60 vote threshold needed to get to a vote on the Senate floor.

"And I do believe that the time has come to make 50 the number," the South Carolina Democrat said. "Reconciliation has been provided for in our budget resolution. It is time for us to stop the snail's pace. Stop running out the clock. And start getting done for the American people what they tell us they would like to see done."

Clyburn's comments came on the same day that Reid is set to have an afternoon press conference in which he is expected to announce that he has finalized the Senate version of the health care reform bill.

It remains unclear whether Reid has lined up the 60 votes needed to get to a vote through the normal procedures.

Filed under: Democrats • Health care • James Clyburn • Popular Posts • Senate
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Doug, New Jersey

    Without flour you have no cake, without sleeze you have no Democrat.

    The taker libs are tryting to take all they can from the givers before they get booted in 2010. For such a vile extremist nasty hate-filled dishonest create as Pelosi to be running the house, a person who would be un-electable in 95% of America, shows that the Democrats are extremists who couldn't be more out of touch with the great Americans who make up a majority of this nation.

    October 26, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. Victim of Obama Greed

    No – 60 should be the crucial number, the nuclear option should not be used. One could argue 12 people on a jury shouldn't ALL have to agree, but they do. Enough of these Democrats trying to cram this crap down our throats.

    October 26, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  3. jeremy.....Dallas...Texas

    If it is democrazy then senate and congress will vote infavor of 61%. But since it is all about campaign donors and filling in their stomachs,then they will not care whatever we say. We say developing world is corrupt. How about this one where insurance companies are buying laws that they want?

    October 26, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  4. Tate

    This guy can barely speak english why would anybody listen to anything he says.

    October 26, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  5. Dave

    I just knew they'd use their skewed poll numbers to act like they have support.

    October 26, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  6. Change_Has_Begun

    yes lets just do it...we need it...forget the neo-conservatives who will oppose anything obama says not because it is against their interest but because he is black and succesful and educated and smart....

    October 26, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  7. Pee Wee

    You tell 'em Jim. Just take a page from the Massachusetts playbook and pass a law that says all you need is 8 votes, and that's good enough!

    Get real!

    October 26, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  8. Arlando cantley

    I agree bush won the presidency in 2000 with 49 percent of vote.

    October 26, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  9. We Won Get Over It

    Pass the bill with the public option.....let the republicans swim in their swill....they aren't going to vote for that or anything the democrats do to try to correct the mess bush and MOST OF THEM made...so the democrats should just forget them. Let them kick and scream like the babies they are.

    October 26, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. Useyourbrain!!

    It is time for the democrats to get a back bone and stand up for the American people who put them into office. We cannot have health reform with some kind of restraints or incentives on the private health care companies. Otherwise, the privates get richer with all the new members and the members are at the mercy of the insurance companies.

    October 26, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  11. ttbala

    I am a lifelong Democrat and never ever thought that hte day will come and I will tell the democrats to take a hike, they do not deserve the Majority, they do not deserve to be in power, look at them they cannot even support their own president, can't you guys take a page out of the hatefull repibs and see how they are operating, their party is in the gutter but still they stick together for better or for worse, mostly for worse, SHAME ON YOU DEMS.

    October 26, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  12. Peoples Voice

    50/50 with the Veep's vote is more than enough.

    October 26, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  13. Matt

    Typical CNN poll...their results aren't even close to the other polling sites.

    October 26, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  14. BILL, WI

    Sounds like more Bushanigans, just change the constitution to whatever suits your goals.

    October 26, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  15. Steve (the real one)

    Easy for Rep Clyburn to make that statement. As he sits in the Lower House, he wil not have to feel the pain of retribution and outrage if the dems in the Senate pull off the so called "nuclear option"!

    "I can't imagine that 60 percent of the United States Senate will deny 61 percent of the American people the opportunity to get what they say they want"

    Really Sir? We want, we need a balanced budget! Do we have that? No you say? Then I guess 60% of the Senate WILL actually deny 61% of us (and much more than that ) what we say we want! Don't act surprised! Remember that magical number of 50, especially when the GOP is back in power (and it WILL happen)! Let's see how well 50 will play out then! Sounds like the mess in Massachusetts all over again!

    October 26, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  16. Ted Tartaglia

    Clyburn it right. It is unfair for the Repub minority that represents about 20% of the citizenry to deny the wishes of the majority of Americans. These irrelevant dinosaurs need to get out of the way or be ignored by the majority – whichever works best.

    October 26, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  17. Bren

    Based on all unbiased, national polls (Rasmussen, etc.)-–the MAJORITY does not support Obama and the Democrats health care plan---and the MAJORITY definitely does not support the public option.

    The moderate/blue dog Democrats from conservative districts are well aware of what the "real" polls are saying. And, if they support this, they will DEFINITELY pay in the 2010 and 2012 elections.

    There are 49 moderate/blue dog Dems in conservative districts up for reelection in 2010-–all in districts won by McCain.

    Let us hope that what ever damage that Obama and the Democrats do, it can be reversed after the 2010 and 2012 elections.

    October 26, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  18. Gee

    I don't know where they keep coming up with this 61% approval rating for the public option.....nobody I have talked to has changed there mind on this and more and more people I have talked to lately have changed their minds and are now firmly opposed to it.....I guess this is the one GREAT media lie that if they say it often enough people will start to believe it. NO PUBLIC OPTION!!! PERIOD!!!

    October 26, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  19. Axel

    Who says 60% americans favor the public option? This is goverment being shoved down peoples throats with a bunch of lies.

    October 26, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  20. Idiot_Pelosi

    Well, I see Clyburn is bablling idiot too. If DUMocRATS try to bypass standard procedures and policy, and go some back door route the American People will conduct a REVOLUTION.

    I for one am part of a group who:
    (a) Refuses to pay any new taxes or fees
    (b) Refuses to hire liberals

    When it came time for layoffs, we went looking for those with OBOZO bumper stickers. They voted for change, so we gave it to them.

    October 26, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. Chris

    Wow and here I thought I lived in a Country that promoted Democracy where the Majority ruled!!
    I guess the Insurance industry is in charge of this ship!!

    October 26, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
1 2