What Senator Bennet Is Willing to Compromise

November 2010

Conservative voters might be surprised to learn that U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, the Democrat who squeezed past Weld County Attorney General Ken Buck in last week's election, doesn't seem to be taking his victory for granted. The senator is suddenly sounding very much in the mood to compromise with Republicans on some thorny issues, including extending the controversial tax cuts put in place by President George W. Bush—at least for one more year, according to the Fort Collins Coloradoan. Bennet says he supports an extension, even for the wealthiest Americans, so that a conversation about what would happen if the cuts are allowed to expire can take place. 

In an interview with NPR, he also says he expects the U.S. Senate to revisit the issue of health-care reform, something Republicans are promising now that they've taken control of the U.S. House. Bennet says he welcomes that prospect because he'd like to do more to address "cost containment," as well as re-sell the idea to the American public. "For better or for worse, and whether it's unfair or fair, the burden of the reform, in the end, lies on the shoulders of the reformer," Bennet adds. "And in the context of health care, if you don't do a good job of explaining it on the front-end, people can make up things like death panels as ways of defeating the reform." Bennet is on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, which played a key role in shaping the reforms passed last March.

CBS News reports that not quite half (48 percent) of recent survey participants would support a Republican repeal of the health-care law. Thirty-one percent, conversely, think health reforms ought to be expanded.