Some Democratic lawmakers sympathize with both arguments.

“I certainly agree with the sentiment that the timing was tough due to the economic crisis that was gripping our country. On the other hand, I think if you were to ask the president, I would assume the president would counter, ‘I did it when we could,’ ” said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.).

Sen. Jon Tester (Mont.), the incoming chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee , applauded Schumer’s message to the party that it needs to focus more on the needs of middle-class voters.

“I think, moving forward, he’s spot on,” he said. “I think we need to focus on the middle class, the economy, and opportunity and prosperity.”

But Miller said it’s wishful thinking to believe Democrats could have passed another economic stimulus package in 2009 had they skipped pushing healthcare reform.