One of the Senate's most vocal progressives is demanding that the Democratic Party commit to voting against filibustering health care legislation now that, with the impending arrival of Al Franken, the party has 60 caucusing members.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), called on the White House and Democratic leadership in Congress to ensure that party members agree unanimously to support cloture on legislation that would revamp the nation's health care system. Democratic senators on the fence, he added, could still oppose the bill. But at the very least they should be required to let the legislation come to an up-or-down vote.
"The people who are sitting around who may determine health reform in the Senate are a majority of Republicans," Sanders said, incredulously.
In its place, Sanders proposed a Coalition of Unwilling -- as in a group of lawmakers unwilling to sacrifice a progressive bill for the sake of bipartisanship.
"Something is very wrong," he said. "What Sen. Baucus said is that the strategy should be to reach out to Republicans. All of them, without exception oppose a public plan. So what you'll end up having is a very weak piece of legislation probably regressively funded. My strategy is different."
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
"Bernie Sanders Demands Democrats Commit To Stopping Health Care Filibuster"