Congressman Jim Clyburn watched events from home while his Senate colleagues remained inWashington for a critical vote on thier version of health care reform. The vote, successful for the Democrats, takes the reform bill to conference committee. There, Clyburn will be involved again. He says, at the least, he will be in the room for conference committee on the bill, if not at the table.
For now, Clyburn says the work of the House, and his work on this bill for this year, is done. Back home in Columbia this week, Clyburn answered questions in a media roundtable that lasted over an hour. He answered an AP question about the benefits not arriving until about 2014:
(Clyburn on phase-in of benefits MP3 2:53)
He reflected on how his party could have approached the health care reform idea even better, saying that Democrats talked only about the uninsured.
(Clyburn comments on initial party message about health care reform MP3 :17)
We asked him if he had cautioned President Obama about his “policy pace.”
(Clyburn on incremental change MP3 1:54)
He says he caught criticism for saying he knew that a “robust public option” would not end up in the bill. He still contends that it won’t.
One of the most powerful Democrats in the country, Clyburn chaffs at the suggestion that this administration has not been bipartisan in its approach.
(Clyburn on Obama cabinet MP3 1:54)