If there was any lingering doubt as to whether the public option would survive the final health care motion, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) ended it on Friday morning.
“We had it. We wanted it,” Pelosi told reporters at a press briefing. “It’s not in reconciliation… We’re talking about something that is not going to be part of the legislation.”
While Pelosi may be the purveyor of the bad news for progressives, she’s certainly not the culprit. The House of Representatives passed the provision in its November bill, but it was removed from the Senate version at the last minute.
“It did not prevail,” she said, while reaffirming her strong personal support for it. “What we will have in reconciliation will be something that is agreed upon, House and Senate.”
The intense debate over the controversial yet popular provision seems to have finally come to a close, as it has in recent weeks become clear that neither the White House or the Senate Democratic leadership was willing to risk the heavy lift.
Now, it appears that they have concluded it does not have the necessary votes in Congress to pass.
The Washington Post Plum Line’s Greg Sargent reported some news before Pelosi’s statement that seemed to inject optimism for the provision.
[Sen. Dick] Durbin [(D-IL)] has been taking a bunch of heat from the left since he said the other day that if a public option amendment is inserted in the reconciliation fix, Senate Dem leaders may be forced to urge Dems to vote against it in order to ensure passage of the overall bill.
But Durbin’s spokesman, Joe Shoemaker, emails to clarify:
“Sen. Durbin and the rest of the Senate Leadership will be aggressively whipping FOR the public option if it is included in the reconciliation bill the House sends over.”
The Huffington Post‘s Ryan Grim reported on Thursday that over 50 Senate Democrats have spoken on the record in favor of the public plan during the last year, including over 30 who have signed an official letter calling for a reconciliation vote on the provision. Grim wrote:
The public option faces its last stand. With more than 40 senators publicly willing to vote for a health care reform reconciliation package that includes the option, the opportunity to reinsert it into the final bill has never been greater, though the battle is nearly over without having been fought.
The process toward enactment now requires the House to pass the Senate bill before the Senate makes fixes to it with the use of reconciliation. Once both chambers have passed the amended bill, President Obama can sign it into law.
This video is from C-SPAN, broadcast March 12, 2010.
Small businesses in turmoil as pandemic stimulus talks stalled: report
On Tuesday, Politico reported that small businesses are in limbo as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has stalled, and as the White House and Congress appear to be at a standstill on extending coronavirus stimulus.
"The collapse of pandemic relief negotiations has brought complications for the massive emergency lending program, which shut down on Saturday to new loans after doling out more than $520 billion in funds, leaving banks and borrowers unsure of how to proceed with a key phase of the rescue," reported Zachary Warmbrodt.
Trump can’t attack Kamala Harris without contradicting his own message: Bakari Sellers
On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," former South Carolina lawmaker Bakari Sellers broke down why Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) poses such a challenge for President Donald Trump.
"What we're seeing with the two parties is the narrow focus is going to be on the fact that Donald Trump and the Trump campaign have no way, and they do not know how to deal, with Kamala Harris," said Sellers. "It very difficult to say 'Kamala is a cop' and be a 'law and order president.' Those two things simply do not mesh. Not only ahistorical and inaccurate, but the messages, they collide."
"But second, it shows that the Republican Party and Democratic Party are going in two vastly different directions," continued Sellers. "The country is becoming more diverse, the country is becoming more brown. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris represent the demographics of what the country will be, and Donald Trump and Steven Miller and Mike Pence represent a day that's passed. So what I would say tonight is while Donald Trump and Mike Pence want to cheer on the Confederacy, we're trying to re-imagine what this country will look like. It goes back to a time where Americans can feel good about being first and about thinking about what our country can be: full of hope and faith."
WATCH: Tucker Carlson flips out after guest teaches him how to pronounce ‘Kamala Harris’
Fox News personality Tucker Carlson repeated mispronounced the first name of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who is Joe Biden's running mate.
"On Fox, Tucker Carlson keeps calling her KAM-uh-luh, which is not how it's pronounced," Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel noted.
He linked to a tweet with a picture of Harris explaining in her memoir how to pronounce her name.
Harris wrote, "my name is pronounced 'comma-la' like the punctuation mark. It means 'lotus flower,' which is a symbol of significance in Indian culture. A lotus grows underwater, its flower rising above the surface while its roots are planted firmly in the river bottom."