Dems Rethinking Health Care After Mass. Loss

Webb urges Senate to avoid votes before Brown seated
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2010 1:22 AM CST
Updated Jan 20, 2010 7:53 AM CST
Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass reacts as Democrat candidate, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley concedes last night.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

(Newser) – Scott Brown's surprise win in Massachusetts has sent the Democrats scrambling to find a way to salvage health care legislation, as more and more legislators say they won't support hurry-up measures to push through the bill before he is sworn in. Sen. Jim Webb urged the Senate to delay any votes on health care until Brown is seated, seeing the upset as "a referendum not only on health care reform but also on the openness and integrity of our government process."

On the House side, Barney Frank echoed that sentiment, and Anthony Weiner urged Democrats to turn towards a jobs creation bill, with a health-care component added in. Meanwhile Democratic leaders met late into the night looking for options, include pressing the House to adopt the bill already passed by the Senate as is, then passing a "clean-up" bill that would require only 51 votes to get through the Senate, Politico reports. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said last night the Senate bill was better than nothing, but other centrist Dems signaled that they would be looking for a scaled-back bill.

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