Colorado senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet are joining with their Governor, Bill Ritter, in asking for an up or down vote on the public option. The public option has majority support in the Senate, but likely lacks to 60 votes needed to add it as a stand-alone amendment to a bill without it. By the same token, if Reid put the public option in the merged bill, it would also take 60 votes to remove it.
The Colorado contingent's open letter to “all United States Senators” demonstrates the increasing scrutiny being given some very important but little understood procedural issues. They are not asking their conservative colleagues to support a public option, only to not “hold it hostage with the threat of the filibuster.” Interestingly, the letter makes no reference to Republicans, making it clear that this is directed primarily to wavering Democratic senators.
The two senators claim the public option is in real danger from the “quiet threat of a filibuster,” which is oddly similar language to what Jane calls the “silent filibuster,” a closely related issue.