Dodd: Time to put off healthcare "for a month, six weeks"

Senior Democratic senator suggests it's time to "take a breather" on the issue

By Alex Koppelman
Published January 22, 2010 6:01PM (EST)

Hey, remember when Congress was going to finish healthcare reform legislation sometime, oh, last summer? Yeah. Didn't quite happen. And then when they were going to finish it before the end of the year? Oh, and remember when they were hoping to have it done before President Obama delivered the State of the Union, now scheduled to take place last week?

At a certain point, I guess, you start figuring: Hey, we're already months late, what's another month or two? That must be it, because even with the midterm elections creeping ever closer, senior Congressional Democrats are sounding very casual about the pace at which things are proceeding now.

On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she and other members of the leadership are "not in a big rush" now. And on Friday, the Associated Press reports, Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., told reporters that it's time to "maybe take a breather for a month, six weeks" and move on to other subjects.

This really doesn't read like a declaration that he thinks reform is dead -- it might just take them that long to figure out how to proceed anyway -- but there is a point at which the Democrats will run out of months. Vulnerable Democrats don't want to hit the campaign trail with this whole thing unfinished and hanging over their heads, and they might just start to bolt if that starts to happen.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Alex Koppelman

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Christopher Dodd D-conn. Healthcare Reform