Snowe: I Do Not Support Opt Out Compromise, Would Likely Filibuster Public Option Bill

October 22, 2009 8:38 a.m.

In a huddle with reporters moments ago, I asked Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) for her thoughts on a public option compromise that would allow states to opt out of a national government insurance program, and her answer could slow down the proposal’s considerable momentum.

“I don’t support that,” Snowe said.

Asked further whether she would participate in a filibuster on a bill with a public option, she went almost all the way.

“I’ve said, I’m against a public option…yes…it would be difficult” to support allowing the bill to proceed to a vote.

Snowe and other centrists say they’ll withhold their support on a motion to proceed to the bill on the Senate floor (which will require 60 votes in and of itself) until the legislation is fully pieced together and the CBO has weighed in. She and other centrists want to ensure that the bill meets their specifications before it goes to the floor, so that they won’t bear the burden of rounding up the 60 votes needed to change the legislation during debate.

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