Dear MoveOn member,
Republicans' best chance to kill health care reform is to stop it from ever getting an up-or-down vote. But they can't do it alone. Republicans need at least one Democrat to join them.
Unfortunately, a few conservative Democrats have publicly hinted they might help Republicans do just that if the bill includes a public health insurance option1—even though the public option is supported by the overwhelming majority of Americans and has already passed four congressional committees. Conservative Democrats might doom health care reform, just to stop the public option from coming to a vote.
It's pretty upsetting to think that a handful of Democratic senators—whom many of us helped elect—would join a Republican filibuster to block the most important Senate vote in a generation.
But we could still pressure Democrats to do the right thing by publicly announcing that we'll never support the re-election of anyone who helps Republicans filibuster.
That's a big decision, though. So we're holding a vote of all MoveOn members. Can you take a moment to cast your ballot?
The official question is: "Should MoveOn refuse to support the re-election of any senator who helps block an up-or-down vote on a health care reform bill with a public option?"
Pressing Democrats to support an up-or-down vote on health care reform will strengthen the hand of Senate leaders who are deciding whether to include the public option in the bill they bring to the floor.
If Majority Leader Harry Reid and other Senate leaders know they can count on every Democrat to allow an up-or-down vote on health care reform, they'll be much more likely to include the public option. But if they think conservative Democrats might obstruct a bill with the public option, they're more likely to water down reform.
That's why we need all 60 members of the Democratic caucus to commit to allowing a simple, up-or-down vote.
As Senator Tom Harkin said, "there comes a time that you have to decide if you are in our caucus or not."2 Senator Harkin, along with Senators Sherrod Brown3, Bernie Sanders4, Michael Bennet5 and Mark Udall6 have been working to make sure that health care reform gets a fair vote.
But outside pressure is going to be key to winning this fight. Together, MoveOn members have made millions of phone calls, provided tens of millions of hours of volunteer labor, and donated over one hundred million dollars to help Democratic candidates.7 So if Democrats know that helping Republicans to stop reform means they'll get no support from the five million of us, that's a big deal.
Click below to vote on the question, "Should MoveOn refuse to support the re-election of any senator who helps block an up-or-down vote on a health care reform bill with a public option?"
Thanks for all you do.
–Justin, Carrie, Kat, Marika, and the rest of the team
P.S. Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. PDT on Sunday, October 25. This ballot e-mail is not transferable. If you want to encourage your friends who are MoveOn members to vote, have them look for their personal MoveOn ballot e-mail.
1. "Dem leaders brush off the left," Politico, October 13, 2009
2. "Harkin sees passage of Kennedy-backed health plan," Reuters, September 22, 2009
3. "After Tense Health Care Discussion, Dems Predict Unanimity on Reform," Talking Points Memo, October 15, 2009
4. "Bernie Sanders Demands Democrats Commit to Stopping Health Care Filibuster," The Huffington Post, August 1, 2009
5. "Up or Down Vote for Health Care Reform," October 22, 2009
6. "Up or Down Vote for Health Care Reform," October 22, 2009
7. "People Powered Politics 2006," MoveOn.org Political Action
"People Powered Politics 2008," MoveOn.org Political Action
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PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, http://pol.moveon.org/. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. This email was sent to eddie alfaro on October 23, 2009. To change your email address or update your contact info, click here. To remove yourself from this list, click here.