With President Obama’s self-imposed deadline winding down, he has been on a frantic pace to urge his partymates in the U.S. Senate to hammer out a health care plan that can survive the gamut of concerns certain to emerge during a heated debate.
On Sunday, the president met with Senate Democrats for close to an hour, but he steered clear of the thorny details – such as abortion – that will be folded in any eventual plan, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). The Senate will vote on an amendment this week on whether federal funding for an abortion should be restricted under the proposal.
Despite Obama’s early insistence that his health care proposal – and process for reaching that proposal – would likely net as many as 80 senators, he has yet to count a single Republican among its supporters.
"The question now is whether or not we're going to get it done," Obama said this weekend.
Said Reid, "There are still a few things to work out in the bill."
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) remains one of the bill’s staunchest critics. "There was no interest in drafting a proposal that was in the political middle," McConnell said, adding that the Democrats wrote a bill "that Republicans couldn't in good conscience support.
Reid said the Republicans refused to joint their Democratic colleagues in hashing out a proposal that would pass the muster of both parties – mainly because they were determined to see the president go down in defeat over this issue, he noted.
"Republicans are being destructive," Reid said. "They want this to be, as one senator said, President Obama's 'Waterloo,' and it's not going to be."