Though Still Undecided, Landrieu Looks Ahead To Health Care Debate

U. S. Senate Photographic Studio-John Klemmer

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) spoke to reporters last night about her intentions going forward on health care reform. I wasn’t present, but a colleague passes along the audio. The short version is, Landrieu is still uncommitted on tomorrow’s test vote on the motion to proceed, but she’s looking forward to changing the bill (particularly the public option) on the floor, indicating she doesn’t imagine the bill will falter at this stage.

“I have leverage now, I’m using it to the best of my ability, I’m going to use it on the Senate floor,” Landrieu said. “I have people voting for me who are liberal Democrats, independents, conservative Democrats, and some moderate Republicans. I understand what my base is. My base is very broad.”

And in that spirit, Landrieu says that even if her vote is there tomorrow, it won’t necessarily be there down the line.

“The other thing that remains a concern to me is the shape of this public option,” she says. “We have made a lot of progress taking it from a robust, government run [plan] to now something that is more mainstream, more narrow, more private sector oriented, I’d like to take it a step or two even further. So that will be debated on the floor. And if it’s not done that way, maybe my vote’s not there at the end.”


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