Durbin Vs. Public Option

The effective #2 Democrat in the Senate, Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (IL), will reportedly tell senators to oppose using reconciliation to pass the public option--and liberals are not happy about this.

Progressives have gotten 41 senators--including Majority Leader Harry Reid--to pledge their support to using reconciliation to pass the public option. This has involved a months-long campaign of whipping and PR in favor of the government-run insurance plan.

To non-liberals and reconciliation skeptics, using the procedure to pass a public option is a reach; many point to reconciliation's role as a budget/tax procedure. Liberals will tell you that the public option is a vital fiscal mechanism, meaning it fits within reconciliation's scope.

It appears Durbin has stepped in to be the bad guy here. Knowing progressives, though, the public option push isn't over by a long shot.

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Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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