WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says his health care overhaul has “run into a bit of a buzz saw” and acknowledges the process is looking ugly. Nonetheless he says he’ll keep working to finish sweeping legislation.
In comments prepared for a town hall meeting in Ohio Friday, Obama said that the GOP victory in Tuesday’s Senate election in Massachusetts has thrown Washington into something of a frenzy. Republican Scott Brown’s victory denied Democrats the 60-vote filibuster-proof majority needed to advance the health care bill.
Obama also said the health effort ran into a buzz saw of partisan politics and special interest opposition.
But Obama said he had no illusions that overhauling the health care system would be easy. And, added, “I am not going to walk away just because it’s hard.”
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut is suggesting that Democrats take a month or more off from working on health care legislation to regroup in the wake of Tuesday’s election loss in Massachusetts.
His comments are the latest sign that Republican Scott Brown’s Senate victory has thrown President Barack Obama and Democrats completely off-track in their quest to remake the nation’s health care system.
Dodd led the Senate’s health committee as it passed sweeping legislation last year.
Just a week ago the legislation appeared on the cusp of completion. Now that Democrats have lost their filibuster-proof Senate majority there’s no clear path forward. Dodd told reporters Friday that Obama and Democrats should “maybe take a breather for a month, six weeks” and work on other issues.