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
Senators to Watch in the Health Care Debate
Harry Reid's going to have to negotiate the conservative demands of Ben Nelson and the liberal ones of Roland Burris.   (AP Photos)

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.
(More health care reform stories.)

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