Democratic Senators “pose biggest threat to President Obama’s agenda”

This doesn’t come as a surprise, but that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. We’ve been saying for months that Democrats would undermine the agenda of change. Today, The Hill identifies the six main culprits in the Senate:

Half a dozen members of the Senate Democratic Conference pose the biggest threat to President Obama’s agenda, giving Senate Republicans a fighting chance to block the administration’s major expansions of government.

GOP leaders have begun reaching out to these centrists, hoping they will buck their party on Obama’s two biggest initiatives: healthcare reform and climate change legislation.

Yes, the GOP leaders, who have led their caucus into minority status, hold sway over these Democrats:

Leading the pack of potential defectors are Sen. Ben Nelson, a pro-business Democrat from Nebraska; Sen. Joe Lieberman, a self-described Independent Democrat from Connecticut; and Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat who represents a conservative state.

All three have expressed concerns about the core element in Obama’s healthcare proposal: a government-run insurance program that would compete with the private sector. The three also worked together this year to successfully cut more than $100 billion from Obama’s economic stimulus package.

The other Democrats who are expected to voice the most serious objections to either or both of the administrations top priorities are: Sens. Evan Bayh (Ind.), Blanche Lincoln (Ark.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.).

Yes, some of those Senators cut money from the stimulus package. Smart move, since now we know (well, Krugman knew last Christmas) the bill wasn’t even large enough to begin with.

If he so chooses, Obama can use the un-filibusterable reconciliation process to pass health care reform — meaning he’ll only need 51 votes in the Senate, rather than face a 60-vote threshold needed to break an almost certain filibuster. Good thing, because weak Democrats like those above may force his hand. No doubt, we’ll be reading much more about these turncoats over the next few weeks as they try to water down both the health care and climate change bills. They all need a lot more pressure from their constituents, not less.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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