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Unions may decide to pull support from Senate health care bill

December 16, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Support for for the Senate’s compromise health care bill amongst the Democratic far-left is fading. Along with statements made today by former Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean urging defeat of the bill, The Hill newspaper has reported that the SEIU has pulled out of a  Washington press conference scheduled for today where they, along with other liberal groups, were supposed to announce support for the legislation.

Earlier today Dean urged the Senate to reject the bill as Senate majority leader Harry Reid has taken out provisions that would include a government-funded insurance option and a medicare buy-in for persons who reach the age of 55.

The SEIU did not indicate that their reason for pulling out of the press conference was a loss of confidence in the bill. Instead, they announced that their executive board would convene an emergency meeting Wednesday night to decide “how to move forward.”

Earlier today, a 767 page amendment that would reinstate the single-payer, government-run insurance option was introdued by  Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. After Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) requested that the clerk read the entire amendment on the Senate floor, Sanders objected and the reading was stopped by the parliamentarian.

The Republican leadership have called this an unprecedented breach of the procedural rules as Senate procedures clearly state that  before an amendment is taken up for debate, it must be read by the clerk unless a waiver is granted or the reading is halted by unanimous consent. It cannot be stopped by the Senator who proposed the amendment.

Sanders withdrew the amendment shortly after.

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