Saturday, March 13, 2010

Tell Progressives to Honor Their Pledge: Insist on a Public Option

By FireDogLake's Jane Hamsher FDL

Today, Dick Durbin says that if the House sends over a public option in their reconciliation bill, he’ll whip for it. But he won’t whip for a public option amendment.

Which is incredibly chickenshit of Durbin — it once again puts all the blame on the House for the public option’s failure, and accepts none of it himself. In other words, pure Durbin.

In response, Nancy Pelosi says she won’t include a public option in the House bill.

As I said the other day when I laid out FDL’s position on whipping the public option, I’m still not convinced they can pass this bill–period. And I don’t particularly want to get everyone riled up to whip on something that may never happen.

But as a pure matter of principle, after almost a year of blaming its exclusion on lack of votes in the Senate, there is no way it should die in the House.

The PCCC has done a great job getting members of Congress on the record as to where they stand, and I agree wholeheartedly with Adam Green:

Mark Warner, Tom Harkin, Herb Kohl, Claire McCaskill, and other undeclared senators are not going to vote against the president’s top priority, and if Speaker Pelosi refuses to even allow a vote on the public option, than [sic] she killed the public option. She needs to step up.

If the House is going to put a health care bill to a vote, we should at least be able to see who is going to stab their voters and turn their backs on Democrats on behalf of the insurance companies before the next election.

Let’s see who’s willing to do that.

Sixty members of Congress pledged to vote against a health care bill that didn’t have a public option. Others made videos and gave statements.

See them here

They need to make it clear to Nancy Pelosi that they will honor that pledge if she doesn’t include a public option in the health care bill.

Call progressive members of Congress who pledged to vote against any health care bill that doesn’t have a public option, and tell them to insist on its inclusion in the House bill. Then let us know what they say.

Call now