Late yesterday afternoon, Sen. Dick Durbin's office told the Huffington Post's Ryan Grim that the he would not be signing on to letter
calling on Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to hold a
reconciliation vote on the public option. Their justification? As a member of
leadership, Durbin won't sign any letters sent to the caucus
leadership. "That would be like sending a letter to himself," said
spokesperson Joe Shoemaker.
The senator's office pointed to Durbin's
consistent record of support for the
plan, signaling he would likely vote in favor of the public option if it ultimately faces a floor
vote. And he might get a chance. The White House is now writing their own bill in preparation for the bipartisan health care summit next week and they say it will be moved via reconciliation if no Republicans sign on.
(UPDATE at 3:50 pm: Sen. Reid released a statement on the public option push this afternoon, noting that if a bill is moved through reconciliation, he will "work with the White House, House, and members of his caucus in an effort
to craft a public option that can overcome procedural obstacles and
secure enough votes." Results from survey commissioned by progressive activists suggest using reconciliation to pass a public plan is popular in states from which the leadership hails.)