Senator Roland Burris: Health Bill Has Not Yet Won My Vote

WASHINGTON, DC–(ENEWSPF)–December 15, 2009.  After weeks of compromise on the Senate healthcare legislation, Senator Roland W. Burris took to the Senate floor last evening following a closed door Democratic caucus meeting to announce the compromise bill, which needs all 58 Democratic votes and two Independent votes to advance, did not yet have his support.

Citing deep reservations and concerns that the compromise bill, whose details still remain unclear pending scoring by the Congressional Budget Office, did not do enough to preserve the goals of the public option provision– specifically cost containment, creation of meaningful competition, and holding insurance companies accountable.  Senator Burris had been a staunch supporter of the public option since the very beginning of this debate.

Burris’ comments come at a critical time for this legislation as the bill moves toward a procedural hurdle which requires 60 votes to move forward to a vote for final passage.

Later this afternoon the Senate’s Democratic Caucus is scheduled to meet with the President at the White House.

Highlights of Senator Roland W. Burris’ statement:

“I realize how hard my colleagues have worked, I know how difficult it has been to get this far.  My colleagues may have forged a compromise bill that can achieve the sixty votes that will be needed for it to pass.  But until this bill addresses cost, competition, and accountability in a meaningful way, it will not win my vote.”

“In the process of this debate, we have all made concessions.  We have all compromised.
QUOTING GANDHI: “but there can be no give and take on fundamentals.  Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender.”

“I do have deep reservations, deep concerns, about what I have heard up to this point.  I will continue to fight every day to strengthen this legislation until its final moments on this floor.  But I will not be able to vote for lesser legislation that ignores those fundamentals.”

“I realize how hard my colleagues have worked, I know how difficult it has been to get this far.  My colleagues may have forged a compromise bill that can achieve the sixty votes that will be needed for it to pass.  But until this bill addresses cost, competition, and accountability in a meaningful way, it will not win my vote.”

“The American people most in need of our help know we can do better.”

Full text of Senator Burris’ floor remarks can be found at: 
http://burris.senate.gov/speeches.cfm?method=releases.view&id=67256ba1-423c-435e-a784-76368073643a

 

Source: burris.senate.gov