Thursday, February 18, 2010

"Fourteen Senators Now Calling For Vote On Public Option"

Greg Sargent:
Fourteen and counting.

Senators Barbara Boxer, Jack Reed and Tom Udall have all now signed the letter pushing for a reconcilation vote on the public option, the group organizing the push confirms, bringing the total of Senators now pushing for the vote to roughly a fourth of the Dem caucus.

That means the number of signatories to the letter, which calls on Harry Reid to allow a vote on the public option under reconcilation rules, has more than tripled in two days.

“Going from 0 to 4 to 14 senators on the record in 2 days?” Adam Green, a spokesman for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, emails. “This is what momentum looks like.”

It’s unclear, however, where all this momentum is headed. The Dem leadership has signaled no appetite for taking such a vote.

And yet: Reid’s spokesman is on record saying that the Majority Leader supports the public option in general but doesn’t think this measure has the votes to pass. Which means that the higher the number of supporters for such a vote climbs, the more the pressure increases on the leadership to at least consider such a vote. In theory, at least.

What’s interesting here is that the range of Senators now signing the letter goes well beyond those who are conventional liberals or facing tough primary challenges. The ones to watch now: Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin, neither of whom have taken a position on this.

Whatever the unlikelihood of this ever happening, it’s getting pretty interesting.

Howie P.S.: Patty and Maria, can we hear you now?

No comments: