Spokesman: Schumer Open To Public Option Negotiations, But They Haven’t Started

Congressional Quarterly/Newscom

In light of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s statement tonight–that he welcomes negotiations on a public option compromise–Sen. Chuck Schumer’s spokesman Brian Fallon emails a statement to TPMDC. He says discussions with centrists, such as they are, are in the earliest stages.

“Leading up to tonight’s vote, some senators expressed a desire to discuss the public option currently in the Senate bill. Of course, Senator Schumer did not rule that out. But no such talks have yet taken place, and there is not any compromise at hand beyond what Leader Reid has already inserted into the bill. Senator Schumer remains a strong proponent of the opt-out, level playing field public option.”

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) told TPMDC earlier today that Schumer had been tasked as the point man in negotiations between senators who support a public option, and those who prefer a “trigger” compromise.

This statement seems to suggests that those discussions are in their infancy, whatever Schumer’s role in them is.