WASHINGTON, D.C. — It’s no secret many House Democrats are frustrated with the crawling pace of the Senate. Rep. Jim Oberstar earlier this month, when speaking about transportation funding bill delays, joked that it “seems the other body can’t walk and chew gum at the same time — It appears the other body can only do health care.”
But with 60 votes still not yet guaranteed — that’s what it would take to break an expected filibuster and vote on the health care bill — it remains to be seen whether the upper chamber will clear even that bar before its own deadline of Christmas.
Rep. Betty McCollum, a former high school social studies teacher, gave the Senate a D+ grade for 2009 — passing, but barely.
“They’ve got a lot of homework assignments they haven’t turned in yet,” she explained. “The Senate needs to buckle down and get to work. The rules in the Senate are being used to shut down democracy, in my opinion.
“I haven’t spoken to one person who doesn’t think we need major insurance reform, who thinks the system is perfect,” she said. “This is a crisis that needs to be dealt with.”
For the record, McCollum gave her own chamber an A and President Obama an A+, saying that Obama has restored the United States’ reputation in the world.