The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Burris Tries To Take Back Spotlight, Quotes Gandhi In Health Care Fight

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Dec 15, 2009 10:00PM

With the Obama Administration and Senate Democrats courting Sen. Joe Leiberman for his support of the current health care bill before the Senate, Obama's replacement, our own (lame duck) Sen. Roland Burris is stomping his feet to get some attention is well. Burris was seeking to remind party leadership his vote is still important and the he won't vote for a bill that doesn't have a public option. According to the NY Times, Burris took to the Senate floor yesterday and said:

“I am committed to voting for a bill that achieves the goals of a public option: competition, cost savings and accountability. I will not be able to vote for lesser legislation that ignores those fundamentals...My colleagues may have forged a compromise bill that can achieve the 60 votes that will be needed for it to pass. But until this bill addresses cost, competition and accountability in a meaningful way, it will not win mine.”

Burris than busted out a copy of Bartlett's Quotes and dropped some Gandhi on us:

"As Mohandas Gandhi once famously said, ‘All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender.’”

Of course, who knows what Burris is thinking now. This afternoon, after a closed-door meeting with Senate Dems, President Obama said, "From the discussions we had, it's clear that we are on the precipice of an achievement that has eluded Congresses and presidents for decades,'' adding, "The final bill won't include everything that everybody wants. No bill can do that.'' Sen. Leiberman was more succinct, telling reporters, "The so-called public option, government-run insurance program is out." Of course, Burris isn't the only one not happy with the new developments: many Democrats in the House, where the passed bill included the public option, aren't happy it's being scrapped. U.S. Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) indicated that - provided the Senate passes their bill - it won't breeze through conferencing and a new round of voting: “There’s significant, important differences between what the Senate is proposing and what we proposed, and those matters will have to be discussed. It will take some time, I think, to resolve those differences.”