Senators to Watch in the Health Care Debate
Reid, Snowe, Lieberman, Burris, and more to star
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2009 8:26 AM CST
Harry Reid's going to have to negotiate the conservative demands of Ben Nelson and the liberal ones of Roland Burris.   (AP Photos)

(Newser) – The Senate’s health care debate heads to the floor this week, in a show that figures to star a cadre of colorful and influential characters. USA Today breaks down the senators to watch:

  • Harry Reid: The man in the middle of it all, Reid will have to keep his party together and assemble 60 votes, all while minding his reelection prospects.
  • Mitch McConnell: The minority leader is "the tortoise," slowly but surely keeping his GOP united.

  • Joe Lieberman: He’s part of the Democrats' supposed supermajority, but he’s a resolute public option opponent, opposing even an opt-in or trigger plan.
  • Ben Nelson: The conservative Democrat’s become one of the foremost voices on the abortion issue.
  • Olympia Snowe: She’ll have as much say as most Democrats as long as her vote’s on the table.
  • Roland Burris: He’s used stronger language than any other Democrat in supporting the public option, vowing not to vote for any bill without a strong one.