Gang of Six Centrist Senators Demand Delay on Reform
July 17, 2009 -- A bipartisan group of centrist and conservative senators sent a letter to the Democratic and Republican leaders on Friday urging delay in consideration of health care reform.
The letter, obtained by the Huffington Post, was drafted by Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and is also signed by Democratic Sens. Mary Landrieu (La.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.). Independent Joe Lieberman (Conn.), who caucuses with Democrats, signed on, as did Maine Republican Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins -- moderates heavily courted by President Obama.
The organized effort to slow down the process is a blow to the reform effort. Obama has pushed hard for a final vote before the August recess, arguing that delaying until September could slow momentum and risk missing a historic opportunity.
The letter, sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) stresses that while the senators still want health care reform done this year, they don't feel comfortable voting for it until they've had more time to study its costs and benefits.
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