What will Barbara Lee do?

I know we try to concentrate on local issues on Berkeleyside, but I’ve been distracted in the last couple of days at the sight of Democrats in Washington ducking for cover because they only have an 18-seat majority in the Senate and a 78-seat majority in the House. As some commentators have said, healthcare reform is on the 1-yard line, and all that is needed is a single House vote to pass it. So what’s the problem?

There is, of course, a local aspect of the issue. What is our congresswoman, Barbara Lee, going to do? I phoned her office in Washington to find out. Here’s the answer I got from the aide who answered the phone: “Healthcare is still a struggle. We’re listening to constituents to see what they think.”

I made my views clear, but pressed for further information. Doesn’t the congresswoman know what she’s going to do? I received a non-committal answer. Are they getting many calls? “Lots.” What were most of the callers advocating? “It looks like the Senate bill has support.”

The essential Talking Points Memo is trying to find out what representatives around the country are planning to do. I’m not sure yet what Lee will do, but I’m glad lots of constituents are pressing her to do the right thing. If you want to add your voice, the phone number for Lee’s office in the House is 202-225-2661.