Jim Webb: No Votes Until Brown Is Seated
And I agree. Because even though Kennedy championed this health care legislation, Massachusetts didn’t elect a Dem this time around. That’s how democracy works.
“In many ways the campaign in Massachusetts became a referendum not only on health care reform but also on the openness and integrity of our government process,” Webb said in a statement. “To that end, I believe it would only be fair and prudent that we suspend further votes on health care legislation until Senator-elect Brown is seated.”
The statement from the centrist Webb is a warning shot to Democratic leaders who are now forced to confront how to move forward with health reform efforts and other top priorities in the wake of Brown’s victory. Republicans now control 41 votes in the Senate, meaning they will have enough votes to sustain a filibuster if they all stick together.
The issue is critically important to healthcare, as well. Some lawmakers had talked about rushing to finish their health reform efforts before Brown could be seated, which could take as long as 10 to 15 days under Massachusetts law.
However, the other part of democracy is that Brown won by 52% to 47%.
So if a simple majority is good enough for Massachusetts, it’s good enough for health care legislation.
Yes, going that route will be painful. But that’s where we’re at now.