This morning, the President signed historic health reform legislation. But the job of health reform isn't done, and this process isn't yet completed. The Senate must now pass the reconciliation bill through a majority vote to improve reform. I have completed a full Senate Democratic caucus whip count on reconciliation to improve the just passed health reform legislation. Who's for it or clearly open to it, and who's against it or hesitating. According to my count, right now, there are 52 Senators who are supportive of reconciliation, and seven who are either opposed to it or aren't sure.
I know 52 is enough to pass the bill, but I would like to have a bit more cushion here, and there are some Senators who should be pretty easy to get on board. But even more important than that, we want to get as many of our Senators to vote the right way as possible.
So, there are a couple of things to do today. First, if you haven't yet, first, find out of your Representative voted the right way on health reform, and if they did, please give them a call to thank them. You can find their contact information at House.gov - and please try to call a district office if you can when you are a constituent. Also, if you have an extra minute, sign a quick thank-you card to Speaker Pelosi.
And then, it's time to get back on the phone. Call your own Senators and make sure they are voting for reconciliation - even if they are listed as supportive on my whip count. Constituent re-enforcement is always a good thing. Then call as many of the undecided/opposed senators as you can. I am listing those Senators and their contact information below. If you are a constituent, you might want to look up their senate website and call a state office instead of DC. If you aren't a constituent, please call DC.
- Claire McCaskill (MO) - reports point to leaning, but I can find no definite reports or statements. Obama did a fundraiser for her earlier this month. Let's solidify her vote. 202-224-6154. (Senate website)
- Kay Hagan (NC) - sounds reluctantly open to reconciliation. She is being lobbied by the teabaggers against it. So let's lobby her for it! Phone: 202-224-6342. (Senate website)
- Joe Lieberman (I-CT) - undecided on reconciliation. I know, it's Lieberman. But he isn't completely a lost cause on this. There is nothing in this bill to bug him, and he may well be able to be persuaded. Give him a call. Phone: 202.224.4041. (Senate website)
- Mark Warner (VA) - I can find nothing specific in terms of an indication of support or opposition, but Warner was one of the Senators who expressed concerns about the student loan provisions in the reconciliation bill. Let's tell Sen. Warner to stand with the President, students and the American people. 202-224-2023. (Senate website)
- Jim Webb (VA) - No specific indications, but Webb is also one of the senators that expressed concerns over the student loan provisions, and has been under pressure from his home state of Virginia. Let's ask Sen. Webb to stand on the right side of history. (202)-224-4024 (Senate website)
- Ben Nelson (NE) - now opposing reconciliation to try to protect student loan
sharksbanks in Nebraska. Once again, call anyway and let him hear from you. 202-224-6551. (Senate website)
- Blanche Lincoln (AR) - opposes reconciliation. Well, give her a piece of your mind anyway; it couldn't hurt. 202-224-4843. (Senate website)