Chicago Sun-Times
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Durbin at bipartisan health care meeting hints Dems may go it alone if no deals with GOP


Below, pool report from
Christina Bellantoni, Senior reporter, Talking Points Memo

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) scrum quotes - about 2 mins. News toward bottom.

Pool Q:
"Do you the public option will come up at all today?"

Durbin A: "It might ... We've kind of been through this battle in the
Senate ... and you lose a handful of Democratic votes on the public
option." (Adds he supports public option)

Q: How do you think it's going?

A: "I think it's going well. The president is really doing his very best
to find some basic common ground ... He's identified some key
principles" where there is some agreement

Q: Any surprises so far?

A: "No. Working with these people for a long time, I could give some of
their speeches and they could give mine."

Q: Expect bipartisan deal to form? Are differences being bridged?
(Paraphrased, off mic)

A: "It's a longshot."
"It's possible."
"I'm glad the president is trying, the American people want him to try
to find some common ground ... I hope we get it done."

Pool Q: "What happens tomorrow?"

Durbin A: "If nothing comes of this we're going to press forward. We
just can't quit. This is a once in a political lifetime opportunity to
deal with a health care system that is really unsustainable ..."

Pool Q: Does reconciliation start tomorrow?

Durbin A: "I wouldn't go that far. We will sit down in leadership and if
we have some helpful Republicans, this could be an easy assignment. But
if not, it could be a little harder."
Christina Bellantoni
Senior reporter
Talking Points Memo


Republicans Pols why is it so hard to work with or at least reach across the aisle and work together with the Democrats?

Maybe if some Republicans and Independents would extend a hand, we Democrats would be more willing to work with you as well. But the only thing I get from some of you is belligerence. Hollering at me and calling me a liar does not make for a conciliatory process.

Anyway, I can only try as President Obama is continuously doing. Just stick your hand out and shake mine and / or his and state, "Let's give it a try."

Wow, anon. What country are you from? Is it the USA? Republicans don't want to compromise, nor do Democrats. There is nothing unusual going on now. It is the way it always is in D.C. You want real change, and not the slick ad campaign change? Vote out your incumbents every election.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on February 25, 2010 1:42 PM.

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