Which liberals might vote against healthcare?
December 16, 2009 4:53 PM   Subscribe

Which liberal (or at least pro-healthcare-reform) Democratic senators are leaning towards opposing the current bill?

I've been convinced that, as Patrick Nielsen Hayden put it, we should pass the bill anyway. I'd like to know who to write/call in the Senate to make sure that happens. I know that Firedoglake, Kos and some other "netroots" types are agin it, but are any senators actually following their advice? Roland Burris, maybe?

Google hasn't helped me much here: the keywords I choose send to a huge mess of articles.

Please don't pitch in with reasons why we need to oppose the bill. You may be right, but that's not what the question is about.

Soothing advice that I don't need to make any calls and that the bill is definitely going to pass now are, however, quite welcome.
posted by col_pogo to Law & Government (10 answers total)
Well the obvious answer would be Joe Lieberman. Many would consider him liberal in spite of his opposition to the healthcare bill.

Doubtless this comment will generate snark about how he's not a liberal; nonetheless his voting record is pretty much to the left of center.
posted by dfriedman at 4:55 PM on December 16, 2009

Response by poster: dfriedman: fair enough. My real concern, however, was those who might oppose as a result of all the concessions that have been given to Lieberman, Nelson, etc. I'd be crushed if the bill was scuppered from the left.
posted by col_pogo at 4:57 PM on December 16, 2009

None as far as I know. Burriss' statement was very wiggle-roomy. The rest are all voting for it, Opposition is all GOP.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:20 PM on December 16, 2009

Mod note: links removed - please keep MeFi in MeFi and AskMe in AskMe thanks
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:41 PM on December 16, 2009

Bernie Sanders has been making noise in this direction
posted by lunasol at 6:04 PM on December 16, 2009

I'd keep an eye on Ben Nelson from NE. While he's a Democrat, he's been really opposed to a lot of amendments, introduced his own, and he takes a lot of money from the health insurance industry. I also interned for him way back when, so I've been tracking him a bit more than most people track Nebraska senators (understandably).
posted by questionsandanchors at 7:30 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Let's also be clear about what we are talking about. Saunders, Burris and Nelson can vote against the bill and it still passes. It is voting for cloture to end debate which has caused the problem. As long as 60 vote to end a filibuster, only 51 need vote for the bill.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:04 PM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]

Being that there seems to be so little of importance left in the bill, I have a hunch that many liberals will vote against it. I'm definitely liberal, and I couldn't imagine supporting the bill. Ron Wyden rumbled a bit about not supporting the bill when it was stronger than it currently is because he didn't think it went far enough. I can't imagine how he could support the weakened bill now - but only time will tell.
posted by 2oh1 at 8:08 PM on December 16, 2009

Best answer: Being that there seems to be so little of importance left in the bill, I have a hunch that many liberals will vote against it.

Actually, it appears that every liberal senator is lined up to support this bill now, if only to give themselves and Obama a "win". This is evidenced by the fact that they caved so quickly when Lieberman balked at extending Medicare...they just dropped the matter entirely, with no actual debate in the chamber.

If you want this bill to pass, the one to keep an eye on now is Nelson, who wants more restrictive anti-abortion funding measures in place. That's going to be a tough one to resolve.

I don't think the bill is worth passing anymore. But to answer the OP's question, I'd say watch out for Nelson for now and don't worry about the liberal-minded senators...they've already caved. If the bill gets through the Senate, the real mess is going to begin when they try to reconcile it with the House bill. That's when you'll see the real tug-of-war begin between liberals (who will focus on getting the public option back in) and conservative dems (who will insist on getting tough anti-abortion measures in place).
posted by hiteleven at 9:23 PM on December 16, 2009

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