The GOP Looks to a Pre-Conference Agreement
by Charles Lemos, Mon Oct 05, 2009 at 04:58:45 PM EDT
Stephen Moore writes in the Wall Street Journal that "Republicans would be wise to call for the pre-conference agreement to make sure not only that the public option is dead, but that it stays dead."
Republicans in the Senate are strategizing over how to stop any version of a public option from getting enacted on the Senate floor. "We have the votes to defeat the public option on the floor," South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham tells me. He's worried that the Senate will pass any old health bill in the Senate, then Harry Reid and Mr. Baucus will reinsert the public option during the House-Senate Conference.
Mr. Graham and other Senate Republicans are now suggesting a "pre-conference agreement" that would instruct conferees not to impose a public option as part of any House-Senate conference agreement. The idea here would be to take the public option off the table completely before any bill leaves the Senate.
Why does it seem that it is the Senate Republicans who are calling the shots? They comprise 40% of the chamber and yet they act like a majority.