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USAction -- an organization that's part of the national pro-reform movement Health Care for America Now -- issued a statement this afternoon following the Senate Finance Committee's 14-9 vote to pass health insurance reform legislation out of committee. Here's the full text:

"We are pleased that the process is moving forward and that Majority Leader Reid and his colleagues will have an opportunity to vastly improve this legislation," USAction Program Director Alan Charney said. "The foundation of health care reform must be built upon a public health insurance option and measures to make health care more affordable."

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Richard Kirsch, national campaign manager for pro-reform organization Health Care for America Now, issued a statement this afternoon following the Senate Finance Committee's 14-9 vote to pass health insurance reform legislation out of committee. Here's the full text:

The end of the Senate Finance Committee's process marks the beginning of the next phase - crafting a strong bill that goes to the Senate floor. The HELP Committee bill offers a better path forward in the Senate than the Finance Committee bill.

The Senate Finance Committee bill falls short on making insurance affordable to America's families, gives employers a "free ride," and does not create meaningful competition in the insurance market with a strong national public health insurance option. The HELP bill makes health insurance affordable to families through subsidies, lowers the cost of insurance with a public health insurance option, and promotes shared responsibility with an employer requirement to contribute to coverage.

We're closer than ever to achieving a guarantee of good, affordable health care for America's families and businesses, and we're counting on Senators to put their constituents ahead of the big insurers and vote for real reform.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid issued a statement this afternoon following the Senate Finance Committee's 14-9 vote to pass health insurance reform legislation out of committee. Here's the full text: I am pleased that the Senate Finance Committee voted today to pass their health insurance reform proposal. This represents another critical step toward bringing real change to our broken health insurance system.

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Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine issued a statement this afternoon following the Senate Finance Committee's 14-9 vote to pass health insurance reform legislation out of committee. Here's the full text:

Today's action by the Senate Finance Committee represents a big step forward towards the enactment of comprehensive health insurance reform.

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During today's briefing, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs shot a zinger at Fox News.

A reporter asked about Fox's Chris Wallace, who called the White House "the biggest bunch of crybabies I have dealt with." Wallace, who hosts Fox News Sunday, made the comment when President Obama snubbed Fox during his tour of the Sunday shows last month.

"I haven't cried yet," Gibbs said. He quickly moved on to the next question.

Tensions between Fox and the White House have come to a head in the past few days.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said moments after the Senate Finance Committee passed a health care reform bill by a 14-9 vote that "a vote against the bill is not a vote for status quo."

I'm not going to stand still and let people say that a vote against this bill is a vote for the status quo. There's so many things we can do and we're going to do. And when we go to the floor, we'll be there telling people how we can change the status quo.

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In the wake of the successful vote on the Senate Finance Committee's health care bill, key senators weighed in on the most hot button issues at the heart of the reform fight: the public option and budget reconciliation. Both Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Chuck Schumer said during the hearing that the final package must include a public option.

But after the vote, in a response to a question from TPMDC, Schumer said, "I'm not drawing any lines in the sand." But, he added in response to a separate question, that the recent AHIP/PwC analysis make the ultimate inclusion of the public option "more likely."

On the separate issue of whether this means Democrats can avoid turning to the controversial budget reconciliation process, Finance chairman Max Baucus told reporters that he's "very confident" that the bipartisan vote today will be able to pass health care reform through the regular order.

We'll bring you more responses as they flow in.

The Corzine campaign has another attack ad in the New Jersey gubernatorial race, hammering Republican Chris Christie's social conservatism and GOP identity in a socially liberal, Democratic-leaning state.

"What can you expect from Chris Christie? A governor who'll repeat the failed Bush economics," the announcer says, further detailing Christie's conservative positions on abortion, guns, stem-cell research and public funding of pre-school.

"A governor who doesn't share our values," the announcer concludes. "Chris Christie. Wrong when it matters most."

The new GOP.com appears to be struggling through its first day online. Reporters found holes in the site's content this morning, and lately visitors have found the site to be down altogether or, at best, extremely slow.

"You know your web program is in trouble when your site can't even handle the traffic bump from people making fun of your web program," Joe Rospars of Blue State Digital told TPMDC.

Rospars helped craft the Obama Internet strategy as director of new media for the campaign.

The RNC did not respond to a request for a comment.

Late Update: Over at LiveWire, Rachel catches Michael Steele's response to the controversy. Steele to critics of GOP.com: "It's not even really a website."

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