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Democrats focus on Maine's GOP senators for health reform votes

New York Times, November 23, 2009

Anxious that Saturday's party-line Senate vote to open debate on a healthcare overhaul gives them little maneuvering room, Obama administration officials and their Congressional allies are stepping up overtures to select Senate Republicans in hopes of winning their ultimate support. The two moderate Republican senators from Maine, Susan Collins and Olympia J. Snowe, say Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, reached out to them after he unveiled the Senate measure, encouraging them to bring forward their ideas and concerns. After the party-line vote of 60 to 39 on Saturday night to move to a full healthcare debate, including votes on significant amendments, both sides are acutely aware of the wavering in their ranks and are trying to figure out how to play the numbers.