In it, but not of it. TPM DC

30! Five More Democrats--Including Durbin--Say They Support a Public Option Through Reconciliation

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Newscom / Jason Reed

Similar statements were also issued from four other senators: Patty Murray (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

To be clear, these are not signatories to a letter--circulated by the three groups--advocating the public-option-through-reconciliation strategy. PCCC co-founder Adam Green put it this way: "We're accepting clear statements that if the public option comes up for a vote, they would vote yes. We're debunking what [White House Press Secretary Robert] Gibbs said last week, that the votes don't exist -- they do...we'll prove it."

So far, 24 members have signed the letter, and five have issued statements indicating their support for passing a public option through reconciliation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also stands behind the idea in principle. That means Green et al. have 20 members to go.

About The Author

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Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com