Unfair Criticism Of Sen. Bennet
David Sirota will be delivering a petition today to the offices of Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) demanding Bennet offer a public option amendment to the health reconciliation fix. Sirota writes:
Facing an increasingly difficult Democratic primary challenge, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) has spent the last many weeks trumpeting himself as the Senate's main champion of the public option, issuing a letter demanding a reconciliation vote on the public option. [. . .] Politico reported that his campaign manager suggested Bennet would not offer the amendment because "we're not going (to) kill the bill to make a point." [. . . E]ven as he promises to "continue to push" for a public option, he is refusing to offer a public option amendment right now when it has the best chance of passing (ie. only needing 51 votes, rather than 60 later), somehow claiming that offering a public option amendment to a separate reconciliation "fix" bill would kill a bill that he acknowledges has already passed.
My guess is Bennet is following the Democratic leadership's orders not to offer any amendments - as the leadership is trying to prevent the separate reconciliation bill from having to be voted on again in the House [. . .]
Sirota is berating Bennet for honoring the deal made between Dems in the House and Senate on the reconciliation fixes. That's not fair. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, almost certainly at the behest of the White House, refused to push for a public option in the House version of the reconciliation bill. It is absurd to blame Bennet for the deal made by Obama and Pelosi. Of course, if this happens, all bets should be off:
Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) is now predicting that some Republican amendments may pass and therefore be added to the separate Senate reconciliation bill, meaning that bill will likely be forced to go back to the House anyway.
If that happens, then it is imperative that a public option amendment be presented and Bennet should lead the charge.
Speaking for me only
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