Health Reform – still a long way to go
The Senate after voting on November 21 to begin debate, has a long way to go to get the 60 votes they need on their bill. Here are a few statements by key Senators:
Senator Nelson: “Throughout my Senate career I have consistently rejected efforts to obstruct. That’s what the vote on the motion to proceed is all about. It is not for or against the new Senate health care bill released Wednesday. In my first reading, I support parts of the bill and oppose others I will work to fix. If that’s not possible, I will oppose the second cloture motion—needing 60 votes—to end debate, and oppose the final bill.”
· Senator Lieberman: “I’ve told Sen. Reid that I’m strongly inclined, I haven’t totally decided, but I’m strongly inclined to vote to proceed to the healthcare debate, even though I don’t support the bill that he’s bringing together, because it’s important that we start the debate on healthcare reform, because I want to vote on healthcare reform this year. … I also told him that if the bill remains where it is now, I will not be able to support a cloture motion before final passage.”
· Senator Landrieu: “My vote to move forward on this important debate should in no way be construed by the supporters of this current framework as an indication of how I might vote as this debate comes to an end. I have decided that there are enough significant reforms and safeguards in this bill to move forward, but much more work needs to be done.”
· Senator Lincoln: “In fact, madam president, this vote for or against a procedure that allows us to begin open debate on health care reform is nothing more and nothing less. … I will vote to support — will vote in support of cloture on the motion to proceed to this bill, but, madam president, let me be perfectly clear: I am opposed to a new government-administered health care plan as part of comprehensive health insurance reform, and i will not vote in favor of the proposal that has been introduced by leader Reid as it is written. I, along with others, expect to have legitimate opportunities to influence the health care reform legislation that is voted on by the senate later this year or early next year. I am also aware that there will be additional procedural votes to move this process forward that will require 60 votes prior to the conclusion of the floor debate. I’ve already alerted the leader, and I’m promising my colleagues, that I’m prepared to vote against moving to the next stage of consideration as long as a government-run public option is included.”
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