Healthcare Vote And Grassroots Phone Banks
By BJ Austin, KERA News
Dallas, TX – Local Democrats and Republicans are working the phones ahead of a House vote on healthcare reform, expected later this week. KERA's BJ Austin says they're targeting a list of two-dozen "swing votes" in Congress, and their constituents.
In Plano last night, Collin County Democrats Party Chair Shawn Stevens says they called constituents of lawmakers on the fence, asking them to tell their representatives to vote FOR healthcare reform. Stevens says a lot of people want to get involved in this debate.
Stevens: It's such a bedrock issue for so many people. There's a lot of dismay among average citizens that think they're basically being covered by the system, if you will, and they find out that they're not.
In Tarrant County, Republican Party Chair Stephanie Klick says they're asking people to make "long distance" calls to the swing vote lawmakers - urging them to vote NO.
Klick: You know, most of our local officials are against this legislation. So we're trying to influence the process by calling others that are still sitting on the fence.
Among them is Waco Democrat Chet Edwards. This week, the Republican National Congressional Committee is making automated calls in hopes of creating constituent pressure on lawmakers to defeat healthcare reform. Obama supporters with "Organizing for America" are doing the same on the other side of the debate.