Breaking a Public Option Filibuster
Armando, in his usual restrained way, asks why I think Republicans can filibuster a healthcare bill:
Republicans alone can not filibuster anything. So tell me Kevin, who are the Dem senators who are going to join a GOP filibuster of health care reform? Let's stick to the facts please. Even when you are shilling for a Dem capitulation on health care reform.
Well, it takes 60 votes to break a filibuster, and unless someone gets Teddy Kennedy back on the floor of the Senate, Democrats only have 59 votes right now. As for the Democratic senators who might join a filibuster if the bill contains a public option, who knows? But Ben Nelson is certainly a candidate. So are Evan Bayh, Blanche Lincoln, Mark Pryor and Mary Landrieu.
On the other hand, it's possible that Harry Reid could hold the entire Democratic caucus together and then add a senator or two from Maine to successfully break a Republican filibuster. Maybe. Not many people seem to think this is likely, but your guess is as good as mine.