Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin left little doubt Thursday about her intentions on health care reform legislation, after Republican charges that she is wavering on the issue.

Herseth Sandlin, D-S.D., confirmed during a telephone conference call with reporters that she won’t vote for the U.S. Senate version of health care reform, just as she didn’t vote for an earlier version approved by the House of Representatives.

She also said she won’t vote for another piece of legislation being developed by President Barack Obama to answer some concerns about the existing Senate bill if it comes to the House by way of the reconciliation process in the Senate.

“I will not vote for the Senate bill as is,” she said. “I will not vote for a package of changes that would go through the reconciliation process.”

It was another emphatic denunciation by Herseth Sandlin of the reconciliation process, which allows passage of the legislation through a simple majority.  That controversial method would allow Senate Democratic leadership to bypass an otherwise required 60-vote super majority needed to overcome a filibuster. And it also was a clear rejection of the Senate version of health care reform, approved when Democrats still had the 60 votes needed for a super majority.

That changed when Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., took the seat formerly held by longtime Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy. And it pushed Obama and the Democrats to turn to reconciliation.

Even though House approval needs only a simple majority, Herseth Sandlin opposes that alternative in the Senate, where rules are different.

“I don’t support using reconciliation,” she said.

Herseth Sandlin says reconciliation may be acceptable for some issues, but on one with the wide-reaching implications of health care reform, the regular Senate process shouldn’t be circumvented to make it easier to win approval.

Her position on that issue seemed to clarify and strengthen from Wednesday’s comments, when she told the Journal that she was not sure how she would vote on the president’s proposal. Herseth Sandlin said she was encouraged that the president was addressing concerns about the Senate version of health care reform. Those included malpractice suits, fraudulent medical payments, health care tax incentives and improved reimbursement rates to health care providers.

Herseth Sandlin said Thursday that “out of fairness,” she wants to see the president’s legislation and the Congressional Budget Office evaluation before judging it on its merits. But she is concerned about failures there, as in the Senate bill, to provide real for health care cost containment.

And beyond the content of the president’s addition, Herseth Sandlin said she can’t support it at all if it arrives in the House by way of Senate reconciliation.

Critics of Herseth Sandlin, including the National Republican Congressional Committee, have accused her of waffling on this issue and showing an inclination to buckle under presidential pressure. She was part of a group of Democrats who joined the president during a reception in the White House Wednesday.

The group included other Democrats who, like Herseth Sandlin, had voted against the House health care reform bill earlier. The Republican congressional committee charged Wednesday that after “arm twisting” at the White House, Herseth Sandlin remained undecided on “supporting Democratic efforts to ram a health care bill through Congress.”

She responded Thursday by clarifying her “no” vote on the Senate bill, and said she would also vote against any presidential addition approved by the Senate through reconciliation.

Contact Kevin Woster at 394-8413 or kevin.woster@rapidcityjournal.com

 

 

(37) comments

lucky1
lucky1

This should have been a no brainer for Stepanie. She had better change her politics to Republican if she expects another term in SD. I can not believe where she is coming from. We used to have democrats from SD in the Senate that thought for themselves.

Obamadana
Obamadana

zerocool we got your attention on the avator deal. And you are wrong Rickaroo because he is the one that started the whining about Glocks. Please keep up zero or else get off the bus.

miroj1
miroj1

The state of SD will be watching Stephanie...

zerocool
zerocool

I urge all who supported Herseth before and now dont due to her Repub sided voting record on issues such as health care and the credit card relief act to call and email her and let her know it. I and many others I know already have and let her know her actions have lost full support of the Democratic party. And in reading Obamadana posts and Glock I dont really get it. You have to be smart to figure out what an ugly yellow avatar stands for? Maybe the smart ones are people like Rickaroo who doesnt really care what it stands for and has better things to do with his life.

0bamanation
0bamanation

"Herseth Sandlin says no to Senate health bill, reconciliation," and it's a position she'll hold strongly until after the election. Just like the stimulus bill, she'll vote against it (running for re-election) before she votes for it (after being re-elected). The big problem with electing carpetbaggers is they never have to "come home" and face the wrath of the voters.

JD Anoniem
JD Anoniem

Don't worry Stephie, haven't voted for you in the past but I will after this to cancel out "seekers" vote...your stand here shows signs of intelligent thought....yes we need change in our healthcare system, but it needs to be change for the better! not Obama change.

Toughlove
Toughlove

Vote No Stephanie-this will bankrupt our state and country! Why are my whole posts being cut off? Is anybody else having problems with RC Journal?

Obamadana
Obamadana

Glock maybe Rickaroo will come after me next. That is if he is smart enough to figure out what my avatar is.

Toughlove
Toughlove

This bill if passed as written by the Obama, Reid

Glock10mm
Glock10mm

Rick, it is simply a likeness of the USAF security police badge, not the actual SP badge. And even if it were, the USAF Security Police badge is not copyrighted, for gosh sakes. We apparently both served in this capacity and the bottom line is that you don't appreciate people associating my viewpoints with your past service in the USAF. We will have to disagree on this matter. My biggest gripe is how easily RCJ gave in to your demands. It looks like you have a long career ahead of you in approving avatars for RCJ.

SD Mom
SD Mom

Sandlin certainly lives up to her state’s credo: Don’t mess with Texas!

woodeye
woodeye

One last comment, there hasn't been a vote yet. We'll see after the vote. I guess in Congress, one intelligent vote makes up for a couple years of doing nothing? Too late Stephanie. Maybe your home state of Texas would be more understanding?

woodeye
woodeye

Hey Eggman --- you feel more comfortable with Big Government and Big Unions? Too bad the drug manufactures didn't have a voice in the health bill? Voters just have to get a lot smarter!

Rush Mountmore
Rush Mountmore

Don't be fooled by liberals feigning the dismissing of Herseth/Sandlin for her latest politics.

The bottom one half of the population pays no income tax and they will ALWAYS vote for their paychecks and health care which the Ds promise to deliver.

The way out of poverty is productive work which is being withheld from the general population by liberal policy. If Heseth/Sandlin had the health and wealth of America as her interest, she would have objected to Obama's removal of several trillions of dollars from the economy. She had her chance.

Censored Again
Censored Again

She had better be careful. Looking out for the interests of her constituients might get her censured too.

Obamadana
Obamadana

seeker it looks like the conservatives have scored twice on this deal. One less vote for stephie and one less vote for the healthcarescam. I guess it is true when they say the democritic party is the party of CAN'T.

seeker
seeker

Rep. Herseth-Sandlin, it is with deep regret that I am informing you that I will not be voting for you for Representative nor Governor. your inability to look at the future of this nation and see the financial catastrophe which is coming its way is horrifing.

Even while the CBO and history show that health insurance premiums will double inside the next 10 years you take a stand which is not brave or decisive but a stand which is safe and secure. Like many of your coleagues you hide behind false accusations about your Presidents desire to "take over" the health care industry and fail to protect the country from further erosion of its job base only to protect yours.

The CBO projects that by 2020 the cost of a family health insurance plan will be double what it is today, $13,000/yr. Many of you here deride taxes as a economy killer which prevents growth in the private sector. How will a premium of $26,000/year effect any US business' bottom line?

As big business drops the insurance benefit from its pay packages, which has been happening alot lately, the insurance companies are forced to raise rates just to "stay even". Which means...make billions of dollars of profit every year. Is it socialist to say that this is wrong and that the welfare of the nation is in jeapardy due to this trend? And to all you conservatives who believe in competition, what are the insurance companies afraid of? The feds getting in their and hurting them? C'mon guys..you said it yourselves the feds cant shoot straight. Except with the VA and Medicare.

Stephanie you are wrong to dismiss out of hand how you vote on the reconcilliation of the health insurance package. Read it and think what is best for our future, not yours.

rbmdakota
rbmdakota

It's time for Steph to start changing diapers on a more regular basis. You can't ride the rail and have your cake and eat it too.

Rickaroo
Rickaroo

Glock10mm it's not an infringement of free speech, it's a violation of copyright protection. I wish you'd have changed it on your own, I gave you ample chances. Both you and I probably served in SFS, I just wish you'd respected the rules pertaining to the use of the badge.

think1
think1

A large majority of the people in South Dakota and the rest of the country DO NOT want government run health care! Any politician that votes for government run health care will be defeated in their next election.

JD Anoniem
JD Anoniem

I stand corrected, it does seem to irritate Glock, and rightly so!

Sicangu Warrior
Sicangu Warrior

I would say it's safe for Representative Herseth-Sandlin to leave Washington for Easter Break a bit early. She stands upon a woman's prerogative and is sticking to it. Maybe she does know best, health care can wait until she is out of office and the Republicans get around to it?

JD Anoniem
JD Anoniem

I am glad you were able to move on to better things Tucker, perhaps you should try that with websites as well...

JD Anoniem
JD Anoniem

Rickaroo...where Bob went wrong is instead of using the term "Socialist Agenda", he should have used the term "Socialist Ambitions" - then there would have been no factual issues...and I am sure that Glock 10mm will sleep much better knowing they have your backhanded blessing...

Glock10mm
Glock10mm

Rickaroo, RCJ removed my "logo" after your complaining. While it is a relatively minor matter in the big scheme of things, I consider it a violation of my free speech. There's not much I can do about it since it is their web site, but it sure rubs me wrong. Rickaroo 1, Glock 0.

Rickaroo
Rickaroo

RE: Bob Jones, you need to look up the definition of socialist in the dictionary--like the republican party, you're communicating distortions (lies). A big thank you goes out to Block10mm for finally changing his logo, what took you soooo long? But, thanks!

Mahpiya Ska
Mahpiya Ska

Time for Stephanie to move on. . .

tucker
tucker

I am starting to realize why people don't vote. Our current system is broken with the Republican whiners and Filibusters, then we have a Demo. not supporting the President on what has been needed in the USA for so many years. Its sad to say, I don't live in SD any longer because of the lack of Health Care. If I were there I would vote this one out!

BobJones
BobJones

What most Americans want is for government to go back to the drawing board and in a TRUE bipartisan fashion devise plans to resolve our health care crisis. Herseth-Sandlin correctly sees this hodgepodge of thrown together health reform is poison to our economy and citizenry...not to mention democrats seeking re-election. Folks, if Obama were a stronger leader he could bring both sides together in this process. But instead he has a socialist agenda that strictly prevents him from working with anyone on the other side of the aisle even as he promises to do so. He is best not to try to ramrod anything else down America's throat for we are now much wiser to his Chicago-style tactics.

Jammer
Jammer

Glock, I would hold that thought for awhile. I believe the situation is that Pelosi has counted her votes, prioritized the vulnerable democrats and told Herseth Sandlin that she should vote no. We will see once the vote takes place. But history has shown that everytime Herseth Sandlin goes against the party line on a controversial bill, Pelosi has just enough votes to win.

Obamadana
Obamadana

First of all Happy in the Hills we are just playing the same game you demo's play with how we react to a person depending on what letter they have behind their name.

Next I applaud Steph in saying NO (is she from the party or NO or Can't?) and we will see if anyone gets to her to change that. The final vote will be what counts and not what she tells someone over the phone. But steph if you ever want to visit us here in good old South Dakota you just go up to Iowa and turn left.

Last but not least Steph pick up line 3. It's Nancy P holding for you.

Jeepinguy
Jeepinguy

Even being a Democrat she is smart enough to see that this bill is a disaster. She made the right decision.

Liberty and Justice for Some
Liberty and Justice for Some

Single payer health care is what a majority of American citizens and American doctors want. Herseth Sandlin, Thune, Johnson, and Obama won't touch it because private insurance and pharmaceutical corporations keep them in office. All four of them seem to be sleeping just fine while thousands of Americans die every year due to lack of health care. They go to church every Sunday to make us think they are moral beings. I'm not fooled; nor am I a Democrat or a Republican.

Glock10mm
Glock10mm

Well, I have to admit that I am impressed with her backbone on this issue. A strong person can learn from past mistakes and adjust. If she can sustain this level of fiscal responsibility, I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and vote for her again. Time (and the voting record) will tell.

Eggman
Eggman

to the Republicans i say....Shame on you!! Bought and paid for by big insurance and drug companies. To the Dems i say...Shame on you....no back bone to stand up to big insurance and the drug companies. Insanity reins again....!!

mcparrothd
mcparrothd

If this is the best we can do for the Progressive agenda in America, next time you vote, if you want a republican.... vote for one with a R by the party affiliation. Vote no on Stephanie the next chance you get !

Happy in the Hills
Happy in the Hills

OK, now I'm sure I will see posts deriding her for her no vote, even though that's what some of you wanted. You'll all be saying she voted that way just to save her job. No matter which way she votes, she can't win with some of you people, simply because there is a D after her name.

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