In it, but not of it. TPM DC
"People like this bill less every single day. At some point, Democrats are going to listen to them," said Don Stewart, a spokesman for Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Not to be outdone, the Democrats painted the Republicans as obstructionists who are forcing U.S. troops to wait for new funding during the holiday season.
Political rhetoric aside, the delay is a real concern and the GOP is seizing on new polls suggesting support for health care has slipped.
As we have reported, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said President Obama is perfectly willing to sign the bill on the beach from Hawaiian vacation, but few on the health care team expect that to happen.
Especially since Democratic leaders in the other chamber don't want to keep their members in town waiting for the Senate to pass its bill.
But going home may prove perilous.
Republicans had initially threatened to read the entire health care bill, but Stewart said that's not an option since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hasn't presented his final version to members.
Beyond today, the GOP is likely to ask for cloture motions on every single possible level to slow the bill down. Their moves last week forced Reid to cancel a campaign fundraiser.
Sen. Mark Warner told TPMDC in an interview (more on that here) that Republican requests to "start over" are disingenuous. "That's code for let's kick the can down the road a decade," he said.
The Senate broke the logjam today after losing about three hours of work time in total, and Republican aides say their party has the momentum while progressive Democrats are frustrated with leadership.
"The Democrats still can't tell Americans what this bill will cost because it hasn't been scored by CBO," a GOP campaign source said. "So they are in a very dangerous political position right now."
Follow our up-to-the-minute health care coverage here.
Ed. note: This post was edited from the original.