Can you call Sens. Gillibrand and Schumer right away? Ask them to tell Sens. Baucus and Reid that allowing Republicans to hold health care hostage is unacceptable.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Report your call
Why are Republicans holding health care hostage?1
More importantly, why are Democratic leaders letting them?
The chair of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus, is refusing to release a bill until he can reach a deal with Republicans2—who are ideologically opposed to a public health insurance option and are stalling as much as they can.
And instead of taking the reins, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid "gave his blessing" to Baucus' latest delay.3
Tomorrow, Senate Democrats are gathering for a special meeting to talk health care.4 It's the perfect time for your senators, Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer, to speak out and tell Sens. Reid and Baucus that allowing Republican obstruction to stop health care reform is just unacceptable.
Can you call Sens. Gillibrand and Schumer right away? Ask them to tell these two Senate leaders that allowing Republicans to hold health care hostage is unacceptable.Here's where to call:
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Senator Charles Schumer
Then click the link below to report your call:
All eyes are on Baucus's Senate committee this week—the last of five congressional committees that needs to produce a health care bill. For weeks, he's been saying that he'll have a deal any day now, but he changed his tune last week to say a bill won't be ready until after the Senate August vacation.5 He's delaying the entire health care debate.
Why? Senator Baucus says he won't move forward without Republican support on his committee—and his Republican counterpart, Senator Chuck Grassley, has said he'll only move forward if a Republican like Mike Enzi of Wyoming comes along.6
Senator Enzi—who represents less than 0.2% of the American people7 and is ranked one of the most conservative senators in America8—is effectively in control of the Democratic health care effort.
It's patently ridiculous. Democrats have a 60-vote caucus in the Senate, overwhelming public support for real reform with a public health insurance option, and a progressive president on their side. So why are Republicans able to hold up health care reform?
Can you call Sens. Gillibrand and Schumer today? Ask them to tell Senate leadership to stop letting Republicans hold health care hostage. Then use the link below to let us know how it went:
Thank you for all you do.
–Nita, Kat, Eli, Matt and the rest of the team
1. "Sen. Enzi: No deadline for healthcare talk," The Hill, August 3, 2009
2. "Politico: Baucus Says No Bill By August Recess," Talking Points Memo, July 31, 2009.
3. "Sen. Enzi: No deadline for healthcare talks," The Hill, August 3, 2009.
4. "Senate Dems look for healthcare unity in final week," The Hill, August 3, 2009.
6. "Politico: Baucus Says No Bill By August Recess," Talking Points Memo, July 31, 2009.
7. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the United States, Regions, State, and Puerto Rico," U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved August 4, 2009.
8. "2008 Vote Ratings," The National Journal.
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