Carper "Expects To Sign" Letter Calling For PO Through Reconciliation


Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) tells TPMDC that he plans to sign a letter urging Senate leadership to pass a public option via reconciliation. "I expect that I will" sign, Carper said. The letter, written by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), has been signed by 23 senators so far.

Carper is perceived as a moderate Dem. His signing of the letter would be a big deal, much like Diane Feinstein's joining the letter.

If this keeps up, Obama will clearly be seen as the obstacle to the inclusion of a public option.

Speaking for me only

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    Nah - Carper's probably just (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 03:43:44 PM EST
    hopping on the "Oooh...we can raise money if we say we're for it - we can get re-elected if we say we were for it" bandwagon, because as sure as I'm sitting here, the fix is already in for a requisite number of Dems to have "principled" problems - they will just be so anguished over it - supporting a/the PO, and thus there will never be enough votes to include and and/or pass it.

    Shoot, as David Dayen said today, if the Dems needed 10 votes to pass something, they would only be able to rustle up 9.

    There is a lot of blame to go around; sadly, there has been leadership - it's just been of the cowardly, back-door variety and it ought to be clear that what Obama is proposing is exactly what he wanted.

    I'm not inclined to hope he gets it; what's good for him just isn't good for us, and at some point, this has to be about us, don't you think?

    What do you mean, "will be?", BTD? (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by kmblue on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 03:54:00 PM EST
    Obama is already seen as the obstacle to a public option (whatever that means) at least in my house.

    We need to start telling these people (5.00 / 0) (#6)
    by cawaltz on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 03:59:12 PM EST
    they won't get a cent out of us little folk unless they get 60 to sign on. Good intentions and words are no longer enough. They need to back it with action.

    yep (5.00 / 0) (#7)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 04:07:06 PM EST
    they certainly are not going to get a 'well at least you tried at the last minute' donation from me.

    Unfortunately, it doesn't really matter anymore (none / 0) (#20)
    by weltec2 on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 07:04:29 PM EST
    They'll get all the money they need from the insurance industry.

    Obama the obstacle (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by lentinel on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 04:07:08 PM EST
    If this keeps up, Obama will clearly be seen as the obstacle to the inclusion of a public option.

    Obama has always been the main obstacle to the public option.

    It will be good if he is unequivocally perceived as such by the media and the American people.

    He has been getting away with everything.

    Rupert Murdoch busted for hacking pols phones (none / 0) (#22)
    by kidneystones on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 07:58:50 PM EST
    That's the charge

    Rupert Murdoch's media giant News International could face a judicial inquiry after a highly critical parliamentary report today accuses senior executives at its top-selling newspaper of concealing the truth about the extent of illegal phone hacking by its journalists.

    The 167-page report by a cross-party select committee is withering about the conduct of the News of the World, with one MP saying its crimes "went to the heart of the British establishment, in which police, military royals and government ministers were hacked on a near industrial scale".

    Sorry, to post off topic. But this does seem like news.


    Blurgh (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by lilburro on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 05:36:07 PM EST

    We reported earlier that Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) said he would be signing Sen. Michael Bennet's letter urging that a public option be passed through reconciliation.

    His spokeswoman now tells us the senator misunderstood the question, thinking that we were referencing another proposed letter which promises House Democrats that fixes to the Senate bill would be passed via reconciliation.

    It's a letter basically to shore up commitment from wary House Democrats that if they pass the Senate bill in its current form they won't be hosed.

    "The senator just misunderstood your question, thinking you were talking about the proposed reconciliation letter," the spokeswoman said. "He does not support public option in reconciliation."

    I find this reason for reversal not exactly believable, but there you go.

    It's not believable (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by dainla on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 05:46:27 PM EST
    He got a call from the White House and changed his tune.

    It's the same as the drug reimportation amendment.


    It's actually plausible (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by andgarden on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 06:05:49 PM EST
    because he never really supported the PO in the first place IIRC.

    Poor Carper (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by shoephone on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 06:34:59 PM EST
    He has reading comprehension issues and he quakes in his boots when Rahm comes-a-calling.

    It's times like these that the phrase "throw all the bums out!" really resonates with me.


    He was at least interested in (none / 0) (#18)
    by lilburro on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 06:23:10 PM EST
    an "opt-in" version.  Not a strong supporter of the public option in general though, you are right.

    I'm guessing he got (none / 0) (#21)
    by weltec2 on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 07:08:31 PM EST
    a phone call.

    Ugh (none / 0) (#1)
    by lilburro on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 03:30:12 PM EST
    WTF?  This guy was the genius behind the opt-in mini public option no?

    I guess he is now onboard with a "strong public option."

    Robert Gibbs said today (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 03:57:56 PM EST
    something different.

    See the post below.

    What option (none / 0) (#9)
    by waldenpond on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 04:15:16 PM EST
    Dean is on saying the PO is lowering the Medicare age.

    i am at a loss (none / 0) (#10)
    by cpinva on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 04:17:52 PM EST
    as to what exactly constitutes a "principled" problem with a public-option healthcare insurance plan?

    would it be the "principle" that their corporate benefactors aren't getting their slice of the vig?

    Well, Rockefeller thinks reconciliation (5.00 / 0) (#11)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 05:08:42 PM EST
    is too partisan, so he doesn't have to find a problem with including a component he once said he was adamant about including, because he's not inclined to sign on to reconciliation.

    Then, there are the ignorant-about-deficits-when-it's-for-war-but-horrified-about-them-when-it-comes-to-health-care crowd.

    I'm sure they're brainstorming even now to come up with some new ones; it's no doubt part of the Make Kabuki Work For You seminar that is now mandatory...


    Now this is the Rockerfeller I know!! :-) (5.00 / 0) (#13)
    by debcoop on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 05:36:45 PM EST
    Joking.  I was surprised when Rockefeller was so pro public option.  That's the problem with Dems who have been there so long, they think comity can be regained.  That Eden is long gone and it would be best if they realized it.

    Shaheen, Carper and Feinstein are not on the left of the party.  It is significant that they see the necessity for the public option or some form of public insurance.  Shaheen is not up for relelction for 5 years and Feinstein for whtever reason is beloved.  Carper really is a very moderate Democrats.

    The votes are there and if the White House wnated it, the votes would surely be there.  The votes initially weren't there for defeating Dorgan's drug reimportation amendment.  It would have passed until the WH swung into motion to defeat it. They moved anywhere from 10-20 votes against the drug reimportation amendment.  That  was a much bigger lift than there will be now.

    This is not about political reality nor political pragmatism. Politcal pragmatism would have meant a serious deletion of the excise tax.  It is once again the back of the hand to the left.

    They are willing to gamble on pushing the excise tax through because they don't want to tax rich people and they don't want to fund health care reform from the profits of the industry players - like Pharma and AHIP.  They are willing to do so by taking 400 billion out of Medicare.

    They are unwilling to fight against a proposal which makes health care cheaper, more avialable and fairer.  And yet they are girding their loins to fight for something that does none of those things and actively works against those things.


    BTD, didn't see your last hello to me (none / 0) (#14)
    by debcoop on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 05:42:58 PM EST
    So I say hello back now.

    Public funding for abortion is one (none / 0) (#17)
    by kidneystones on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 06:19:03 PM EST
    of the principles that many Americans oppose. As much as I'd like to join the crowd 'wishing' unanimity on this issue into existence, I won't.

    Hope is not a plan. I suspect BTD is correct in both his assessments. Obama is planning to drop the plan when he comes up short and to blame it on Congress.

    BTD isn't the only Dem who can see the writing on the wall. Dems are now lining up to position themselves for the fall-out.

    The hard pivot onto jobs never materialized. Brown and the few GOPs who crossed over doomed the kabuki by helping pass a meaningless bill.

    Unless the un-employment numbers drop Dems are toast. Nobody is disputing that. The return of the two Davids and the possible departure of Rahm signals the short-lived experiment with governance is over and Obama is going to go back what he knows how to do: sign checks and give speeches. It's a shame.

    Many Americans opposed the war in Iraq too (none / 0) (#23)
    by cawaltz on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 09:20:06 PM EST
    I don't recall anyone giving me any "opt out" options on funding it though. Nor do I recall states allowing me to opt out of taxes because I oppose the death penalty. If we are going to have morality clauses that allow us to dictate funding then it ought to be at least fair. I don't see how it is right to tell one sect of people that disagree with a procedure that they can dictate where their tax dollars go but the rest of us can bugge off on moral issues.

    In short, the morality and disagreement argument is disingenuous. Unless you are going to allow everyone to determine exactly how their tax dollars are utilized then you don't allow one interest group to determine what they will and won't allow their tax dollars to go to.


    I'm in favor of public funding for abortions (none / 0) (#24)
    by kidneystones on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 10:17:47 PM EST
    And I agree with your summary of the problem, except that you pretend that religious beliefs play no part in the dynamic.

    Dems have an obligation to work with the materials they have, not scream about the irrationality or hypocrisy of the other side. The only metric that counts is one of action.

    Dems have their heads buried in the sand if they think that abortion isn't a deal killer at the national level. The right to an abortion is one argument. Compelling others who strongly oppose abortion to pay for the abortions of others is more difficult. We're seeing that.

    I'm reluctant to invoke Katrina comparisons because to do so might be appear to be employing hyperbole. Make no mistake, however. Dems have seriously taken their eyes of the ball on jobs. The hollowing out of the US job market under Dem majorities is absolutely inexcusable, as Duncan Black and very few others have pointed out.

    The recent NYT piece on the effects of long-term unemployment is worth a glance. But we shouldn't need the NYT to tell us what the effect of 10 percent unemployment rates are.

    The cap and trade, huh? Finance reform? You're kidding. A jobs bill, now? And now the latest face-saving kabuki of a summit and possible push for the public-option using reconciliation?

    I doubt voters are even paying attention at this point. They're too busy looking for jobs or doing their best to hold on to the ones they have.


    nope (none / 0) (#25)
    by jedimom on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:34:03 AM EST
    there was a follow up port on TPMDC with Carpers staff saying he 'misunderstood' the question

    he said he does not plan to sign on for a PO

    Regarding the entire reconciliation issue (none / 0) (#26)
    by BTAL on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 09:48:59 AM EST
    You probably won't like the messenger/source but here is an interesting montage of all the leading Dem. Senators defending the Senate rules and filibuster in 2005 when in the minority.

    51 Vote `Nuclear Option' Is `Arrogant' Power Grab Against the Founder's Intent
    http://www.breitbart.tv/obama-dems-in-2005-51-vote-nuclear-option-is-arrogant-power-grab-against-the -founders-intent/