About 1500 Iowa Democrats celebrated with the vice president in the moments after a key vote in the U.S. Senate this weekend.
On Saturday night, Democrats in the United States Senate were able to muster the 60 votes needed to stop a Republican “filibuster” that could have torpedoed a health care reform debate in the senate. Iowa Democrats were gathered in Des Moines for their annual “Jefferson-Jackson Day” party fundraiser.
“We just received word that the U.S. Senate has voted 60 to 39 — that’s right,” Iowa Democratic Party chairman Michael Kiernan announced, as the crowd got to its feet. “They broke the Republican filibuster. I want everybody here — you let Tom Harkin know how proud you are of him tonight. Let’s hear it. Come on, you can do better than that. Fire it up! We have got health care reform in this country. They’re on the move!…That’s a big vote! Big vote!”
The crowd cheered longer and louder than they had all night. Later, Vice President Joe Biden got a similar response from his fellow Democrats when he brought up the issue.
“We were told (on) every talk show you listened to — including the mainstream media — in August: health care was dead,” Biden said. “Well, it’s alive and well and it will pass.”
Biden credited the late Senator Ted Kennedy with being the inspiration behind the senate’s vote on Saturday night.
‘As Iowans, you know better than anyone that momentum matters and tonight, we have more momentum than we’ve ever had in the history of the discussion of health care in America,” Biden said, to more cheers.
On Friday, Senator Tom Harkin recorded a video message that was played Saturday night and the crowd cheered Harkin’s video image when he promised there would be a so-called “public option” in the health care reform package that winds up on the president’s desk.