Daily Archives: December 23, 2009

Senate Clears Final Hurdle to Vote on Health Care Bill

This clip from the NY Times:
clipped from www.nytimes.com
The Senate trudged Wednesday toward passage of sweeping health legislation after disposing of Republican claims that it would be unconstitutional to require Americans to have health insurance, as the bill does.
The Senate was poised to take a final vote on the legislation, President Obama’s top priority, on Thursday morning.
Republicans could not crack the 60-member Democratic caucus, which hung together Wednesday to advance the legislation in the face of solid Republican opposition.

The bill cleared a last procedural hurdle on Wednesday when the Senate voted 60 to 39 to wind up debate on the measure, which would extend coverage to more than 30 million uninsured Americans. Sixty was the precise number needed to limit debate.

The Senate on Wednesday rejected a Republican effort to require disclosure of all items inserted in the bill for the benefit of specific states and entities.
The Senate also rejected a constitutional point of order against the bill by Senator John Ensign.
  blog it

Tomorrow’s vote is scheduled for 7:00 AM… Be There or Be Square!

Senator Burris: Twas the Night Before Christmas

Here’s a fun one:

The text is available at The Senate Agenda Blog.

Politics make for an interesting Holiday season.

Coming Home to a New Stall…

Elly and I just returned from the weekly trip to Federick, Maryland, where we buy health foods and vegan products at The Common Market, a great food coop unlike any we have here in the Shepherdstown area), and, after unloading the bags, I put on C-Span2 to find that the Republicans in the Senate are trying to put a new stall on the bill.

The trick they are trying to pull off  is to say that the Health Care bill violates the 10th Ammendment of the Constitution.

This is the 10th:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

So what the Republicans are saying is that Health Care is not in the Constitution, therefore only the States can do Health Care Bills, and the Senate has no business playing this game. Snator Hutchinson from Texas proposed this, and it lookslike it will come down to an all Republicans versus all Democrats vote, and the Republicans will lose… but they will have accomplished a time stall. I don’t know how long they debated this one, because I was shopping… but the vote on the point of order went 15 minutes and came out 39 to 60, where it fell.

Whew! Now DeMint, Republican from South Carolina, is trying to suspend the rules to have a motion put into place banning “earmarks”, or funding for a personal request by an individual Senator in return for a vote on a Bill. This is, really, another stall. Let’s see how long this one lasts.

20° Outside… walking the dogs is going to be a near death experience.

It’s that time of the morning where I weigh the immediate need for a second cup of coffee against the immediate need of Nestle and Byron to go outside for a walk. We are now three days past the end of the big snow and it’s still out there close to 2 feet deep on the ground, only now the road and the cleared paths are icy and slippery.

Nestle watches me as I ponder the empty coffee cup in my hand while listening to Morning Joe on TV arguing with Senator Barbara Boxer over whether or not the Insurance companies are making out like bandits with he Health Care bill. He doesn’t give a dog’s damn about politics, but he sure wants to go out and pee on the snow (which, in its own way, is not much different from the politics we are experiencing in the split party era.)

As it turns out… as it usually does… Nestle and Byron win and I’m about to bundle up and head for the poorly plowed road (a recent series of complaint letters from our neighborhood association to the powers that be notwithstanding.)

Have a nice day.