Reid Needs Snowe's Vote

Health care unlikely to pass without moderate Republican
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2009 10:41 AM CST
Reid Needs Snowe's Vote
Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, responds to questions during an interview at the Associated Press office in Portland, Maine, on Friday, Oct. 30, 2009.   (AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach)

Harry Reid’s leaky supermajority probably won’t hold together well enough to pass health care reform without an assist from Olympia Snowe. Though Reid announced yesterday that “consensus has been reached” among Democrats, any number of them could still peel off, including Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, or Independent Joe Lieberman. Reid, aware of the peril, has been courting Republican Snowe furiously, Politics Daily reports.

Snowe voted for the Finance Committee version, but the bill has changed significantly since then. For one thing, it has higher Medicare payroll taxes, which she opposes. Still, she’s voted with Democrats on eight of the 16 amendment votes so far. Asked what would solidify her support for the bill, she replied, “I don’t know. I’m going to keep working on all of these issues. It’s probably premature to answer that question.” (Read more Olympia Snowe stories.)

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