In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Durbin: We're Struggling To Round Up 60 Votes For A Public Option

Of course there are differences of opinion on critical issues like public option. But I think we all understand we have an historic opportunity and an historic responsibility. To leave this field of battle empty handed is a terrible error and a real misfortune on our country.

Asked point blank by host Ed Schultz whether the public option would survive, Durbin couldn't bring himself to say yes.

"I want one," he said, "and I think Harry Reid showed real leadership and wisdom when he put an opt out provision in it."

Last night, progressives pulled Reid aside to remind him that as he rounds up 60 votes for a health care bill, he can't compromise on the public option any further.

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