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

November 17, 2009 6:00 am

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin isn’t inflating anybody’s expectations about Harry Reid’s chances for passing a health care bill with a public option on the Senate floor. On MSNBC last night, Durbin said it would be a hard slog.

“We’re working on it, struggling,” he said

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.

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