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Brown: No Negotiations On The Public Option, As Far As I'm Concerned

Newscom / Scott J. Ferrell

So what if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tries to amend the bill to include triggers to win over the centrist hold outs.

"The leader's not going to do that," Brown said. "The leader knows where the party is, knows where the Senate is, knows where the country is."

The difficulty, of course, is that Snowe isn't in the Democratic party. And she is has once again become a major focus.

"For me, I want to make sure at the end of the day that Senator Snowe will feel comfortable in joining us," Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) told reporters today. Carper has been attempting to broker a compromise on the public option modeled on Snowe's trigger.

"What I'm beginning to conclude is that the concerns that have been expressed by centrists...and the concerns that are being expressed by our liberal colleagues--and that's the need for more competition in states where affordability is a problem--I think those concerns can be met," Carper said.

The goal in the coming days, then, will be to bridge the gap between Brown and Snowe.

"Harry Reid had a tough decision because overwhelmingly his caucus supported the public option, and he gave an opt out to satisfy those who were opposed to it," Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) told reporters. "I think it was a reasonable position, Senator Snowe saw it differently.

About The Author


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