Pelosi's comments throw a wrench into liberal efforts to reintroduce it to the bill. She shut the door on a possible pathway opened by Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who said earlier on Friday that he would "aggressively" push senators to vote for the plan if the House included in the fixes.
"We had it, we wanted it...it's not in the reconciliation," Pelosi said at her weekly press briefing. "It isn't in there because [the Senate doesn't] have the votes to have it in there."
If only there were some magical tool of Democracy to find out if some provision had majority support in both chambers! Oh, wait, there is, and it is called a floor amendment!
Offer a public option floor amendment to the reconciliation bill in the House and the Senate. If it gets a majority in both chambers, we will know if it has the votes to pass or not. If it does, Americans will get the public option they strongly want. If it fails, at least Americans will get to learn which members of the House and Senate decided to vote to protect the profits of the private health insurance companies. (House and Senate progressives could agree to switch their votes at the very end of the roll call if the amendment only got a majority because Republicans voted for it in an attempt to cause mischief.)
It is amazing what hoops Democrats will jump through to stop accountability. If we are denied the ability to find out how our representatives would actually vote, are we even a “Democracy” anymore? Americans have the right to know. No more lies, no more hiding behind mythical votes that may or may not exist.
Frankly, until Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid offer floor amendments to prove that the public option does not have the votes, I will not believe them. After all, if the public option did not have the votes in the Senate, why would Durbin and Reid need to whip against it?