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Posts Tagged ‘Senate’

Senator Boxer issued a press release on the defeat of the Blunt Bomb to day:

[Press Release of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer

For Immediate Release:
March 1, 2012
Contact:
Washington D.C. Office (202) 224-3553
Boxer Statement on Senate Defeat of Blunt Amendment
Republican Measure Threatened Vital Health Services for Millions of American Women and Families
Washington, D.C. ­ U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today issued the following statement after the Senate defeated an amendment by Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) that would have allowed any employer or health insurance company to deny critical health care services to anyone:

³Today¹s vote is a victory for the millions of American women and families who were in danger of losing access to vital health services. It is clear that the Republican attacks on women¹s health are having ripple effects all across this country, and the fact that nearly every Republican voted for this amendment will not soon be forgotten.²

http://boxer.senate.gov/en/press/releases/030112.cfm%5D

Thank you, Senator Boxer, for your efforts. Yea, a lot of reds and a few blues voted for this mess. Maine’s Senator Snowe was the only Republican Senator to vote against it. I don’t wonder she wants to retire. As an actual Republican, it can’t have been easy for her the last four years either.

Sure enough, she just put out a statement to that effect:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/olympia-snowe-why-im-leaving-the-sena te/2012/03/01/gIQApGYZlR_story.html

There are currently 17 women in the Senate-obviously nowhere near 51% of the possible 50 seats. Snowe’s seat MUST go to a woman if only to retain the status quo. I know it’s Maine, but a little diversity wouldn’t hurt either.

Snowe herself has inferred that there is little room for a moderate in the current Senate. To break the deadlock in the Senate a Democrat or a Green in her seat would make the difference.

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From a feminist’s viewpoint, it makes no sense to consider a woman, (or even a man) for senatorial candidacy who expresses contempt over it’s appellation. That’s what Carly Fiorina is doing when she attempts to belittle Barbara Boxer’s senatorial exchange in the recent September ad.

Must we again remind ourselves that job titles reflect our experience, value, and job worth? One of the very things that keep us on the low end of the job scale monetarily is our inability to properly identify ourselves. Fiorina knows this. She has had no trouble identifying herself as former CEO of Hewlett Packard.

In this botched ad, it appears that Fiorina was attempting to spotlight Boxer’s 28 years as a public servant as being too long, and Boxer’s correction of General Michael Walsh, who’s use of “Ma’am” was inappropriate, even if allowed by protocol. The problem is, the way in which Boxer’s 28 years experience is addressed induces thought. It makes you think of what she has accomplished, rather than her being out of touch. And, does anyone really think that the military should be above correction?

Republican feminists have to be cringing over this ad. Taken along with the earlier hair remarks, Fiorina couldn’t have skewered herself better if she tried. Who even cares what her platform is, when she takes her campaign strategy cues from rabid bat misogynist trolls?

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Update -Politico is reporting that the bill has passed, 60-39. As soon as I get the roll call vote I’ll provide a link.

Politico is reporting that the bill is set for a final vote this afternoon.

Reg reform bill hits homestretch

By: Carrie Budoff Brown

July 15, 2010 11:38 AM EDT

President Barack Obama moved closer Thursday to securing his second major legislative victory, as financial reform legislation cleared another significant hurdle in the Senate on its way to final passage.

By a tighter margin than either party predicted months ago, the Senate voted 60 to 38 to end debate on the bill, setting up a final vote scheduled for 2 p.m.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0710/39788.html

The final bill up for Senate vote is entitled “Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010”, and it’s identification is H.R. 4173, a House of Representatives designation. Text from the Senate bill S.3217 was inserted into H.R 4173 prior to this final vote. The record of Congressional Actions indicating how we got to this point is HERE.

The bill is available in PDF. Go HERE to download it. It is number 5 on the list and is 1616 pages. It was 2.4 MB and took a few minutes on dial up.

I’m only just starting to read it. (See what OpenCongress says HERE.)Starting from the last pages, I see that we are introducing a protocol for monitoring and deterring the introduction of rare minerals from the Congo and nearby regions. Although the stated primary reason is to reduce the money supply to rebels and terrorists, it is likely to also help to protect habitat for gorillas. It’s amazing what they will stick in at the end.

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I’ve just been so busy with some home remodeling and the new shop, I really haven’t had time to post.  However, I hope you all are keeping up with events.

Did you read Dakinikat’s financial innovation post, HERE, over at the Confluence?

BlueLyon reports the stats that Nevada now has the highest percentage of underwater home loans in the Country at 70% – truly an astonishing figure. California, by comparison, only comes in at 35%.

Marching and petitioning are at the top of the list today.

The AFL-CIO is asking for signatures to their petition HERE, to keep Whirlpool from closing their last shop in the US that makes refrigerators. The Evansville plant has a long history and a fine working base. Whirlpool took Stimulus money and now wants to move the plant to Mexico.

BlueLyon is asking you to boycott FedEx. (I think that would also mean Kinko’s since they are the same company.) HERE is why.

The Women’s National Law Center is asking you to do a virtual march and send an email HERE to Congress. Let them know that being a woman is not the same is a “pre-existing medical condition”.

Send your thoughts to Senator Carl Levin on Blackwater (XE Services). It’s hilarious, in a deeply twisted way, that Blackwater (now XE Services) was able to divert hundreds of guns, including 500 AK-47 assault rifles intended for the Afghani Police, and pass them out like popcorn amongst themselves. Remind me again, for whom these people are working and why we need mercenaries? Blackwater’s contract to protect diplomats in Afghanistan ends this year, but the Defense Department is looking at them to train Afghan police. In the way of things political, I imagine the reason we are now addressing these complaints are those upcoming contractual events. Blackwater still hasn’t returned all the weapons. I’ll bet they can’t, with reports about that some weapons were sold on the black market.

Here is Senator Levin’s latest statement on the hearings being conducted today.

The Senate passed their version of the jobs bill this morning. I’ll have more on it later.

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POLITICO Breaking News:
—————————————————–

Democrats and Republicans have agreed to take the vote on final passage of Senate health reform legislation at 8 a.m. Christmas Eve, far earlier in the day Thursday than originally expected, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev. ) announced.

For more information…http://www.politico.com

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Politico is reporting that the Senate has reached a compromise on the Health Care Reform Plan.

By CARRIE BUDOFF BROWN & CHRIS FRATES | 12/19/09 9:34 AM EST

Updated: 12/19/09 12:57 PM EST

POLITICO 44

Senate Democrats announced a deal Saturday morning on a wide-ranging overhaul of the nation’s health care system, setting a course for a vote by Christmas and delivering President Barack Obama a badly needed victory on his top legislative priority.

A 13-hour negotiating session that stretched into the night Friday finally clinched the support of the last Democratic holdout, moderate Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) The handshake deal cleared the way for a series of votes that could stretch until 7 p.m. Christmas Eve.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1209/30807.html

Blue Lyon has a good synopsis of what the Health care reform might do to abortion as it relates to State exchanges. For a .pdf description of a health exchange go HERE.

Senator Ben Nelson’s snagging of 100% Federal funding for all new Nebraska Medicaid patients, is a perfect example of the argument expressed by EuandUs last week on the difference between Representatives and Senators – that being how Representatives represent people and Senators represent states.

To reach this bill’s passage they will have to do a lot of voting yet, and then send it to reconciliation with the House bill. It’s gonna take 45 million to make Senator Nelson make him king of his state. In the mean time, the Stupakians are plotting. Which persons actually are involved in the reconciliation anyway? Anyone know?

And what about all those remaining 459 amendments sitting there?

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Part Five in the continuing saga of H.R.3950

Today, the 15th of December, the Senate conducted four record actions regarding H.R.3950. One amendment was agreed to, one amendment to an amendment was rejected, an amendment was rejected and a motion was rejected. (Again remember, as you read below, that H.R. 3950 was changed from the homeowner’s bill to the Health bill.)

S.AMDT.3183, submitted by Senator Bacus, on 12/11/09 was agreed to. It amends HR. 3950 as follows below:

[At the appropriate place, insert the following:

SEC. __. PROTECTING MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES FROM TAX INCREASES.

It is the sense of the Senate that the Senate should reject any procedural maneuver that would raise taxes on middle class families, such as a motion to commit the pending legislation to the Committee on Finance, which is designed to kill legislation that provides tax cuts for American workers and families, including the affordability tax credit and the small business tax credit.

TEXT OF AMENDMENT AS SUBMITTED: CR S13047]

The Motion by Senator Crapo, presented on Dec. 13th, to commit HR. 3950 to the Committee on Finance was rejected by a vote of 45 yeas, 54 nays and one not voting.

S.AMDT.2793, submitted by Senator Dorgan on 12/1/09, was to amend, agreed to amendment S.AMDT.2786, which in turn amended H.R.3950. (It is listed on the pages as S.AMDT.2792. I’m not sure why.) After consideration over four days, it was rejected. Although the vote was 51 yeas and 48 nays, with one not voting, it failed because it did not meet the minimum 60 votes needed, as agreed to at the beginning of this health care battle.

The text is 16 pages long, running from S12072-S12087.

It begins by it’s proposed insertion on page 1738, between lines 3 and 4 of S.AMDT.2786 wherein the proposed amendment runs almost the page amending slightly, conditions, definitions and penalties for various Federal health care offences. It then adds this beginning Section that continues for the next fifteen pages:

[…TITLE X–IMPORTATION OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

SEC. 10001. SHORT TITLE.

This title may be cited as the “Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act of 2009”.

SEC. 10002. FINDINGS.

Congress finds that–

(1) Americans unjustly pay up to 5 times more to fill their prescriptions than consumers in other countries;

(2) the United States is the largest market for pharmaceuticals in the world, yet American consumers pay the highest prices for brand pharmaceuticals in the world;

(3) a prescription drug is neither safe nor effective to an individual who cannot afford it;

(4) allowing and structuring the importation of prescription drugs to ensure access to safe and affordable drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration will provide a level of safety to American consumers that they do not currently enjoy;

(5) American spend more than $200,000,000,000 on prescription drugs every year;

(6) the Congressional Budget Office has found that the cost of prescription drugs are between 35 to 55 percent less in other highly-developed countries than in the United States; and

(7) promoting competitive market pricing would both contribute to health care savings and allow greater access to therapy, improving health and saving lives…..]

As interesting as this section was, the line up of who voted for and against it was just as interesting- paring liberal Democrats with Republicans and centrists. A look at the cosponsors will give you an idea. Those voting against it deserve some scrutiny to see why.

Sen Snowe, Olympia J. [ME] – 12/1/2009

Sen Grassley, Chuck [IA] – 12/1/2009

Sen McCain, John [AZ] – 12/1/2009

Sen Stabenow, Debbie [MI] – 12/1/2009

Sen Klobuchar, Amy [MN] – 12/1/2009

Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH] – 12/1/2009

Sen Shaheen, Jeanne [NH] – 12/1/2009

Sen Vitter, David [LA] – 12/1/2009

Sen Kohl, Herb [WI] – 12/1/2009

Sen Leahy, Patrick J. [VT] – 12/1/2009

Sen Feingold, Russell D. [WI] – 12/1/2009

Sen Nelson, Bill [FL] – 12/1/2009

Sen Sanders, Bernard [VT] – 12/2/2009

Sen Franken, Al [MN] – 12/2/2009

Sen Whitehouse, Sheldon [RI] – 12/4/2009

Sen Johnson, Tim [SD] – 12/4/2009

Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] – 12/7/2009

Sen Webb, Jim [VA] – 12/7/2009

Sen Tester, Jon [MT] – 12/7/2009

Sen Begich, Mark [AK] – 12/10/2009

Finally, S.AMDT.3156 submitted on 12/10/09 by Senator Lautenberg was rejected. As with the above amendment, the vote failed at 56 yeas and 43 nay, with one not voting, because it did not meet the minimum 60 votes needed. 14 pages long, it too dealt with the importation of drugs and began:

[At the end, add the following:

TITLE X–IMPORTATION OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

SEC. 10001. SHORT TITLE.

This title may be cited as the “Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act of 2009”.

SEC. 10002. FINDINGS.

Congress finds that–

(1) Americans unjustly pay up to 5 times more to fill their prescriptions than consumers in other countries;

(2) the United States is the largest market for pharmaceuticals in the world, yet American consumers pay the highest prices for brand pharmaceuticals in the world;

(3) a prescription drug is neither safe nor effective to an individual who cannot afford it;

(4) allowing and structuring the importation of prescription drugs to ensure access to safe and affordable drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration will provide a level of safety to American consumers that they do not currently enjoy;

(5) American spend more than $200,000,000,000 on prescription drugs every year;

(6) the Congressional Budget Office has found that the cost of prescription drugs are between 35 to 55 percent less in other highly-developed countries than in the United States; and

(7) promoting competitive market pricing would both contribute to health care savings and allow greater access to therapy, improving health and saving lives.

SEC. 10003. REPEAL OF CERTAIN SECTION REGARDING IMPORTATION OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS.

Chapter VIII of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 381 et seq.) is amended by striking section 8…]

I find it interesting that if so many Senators are willing to say that we are being unjustly charged, that we aren’t just going after Pharma for monopolistic practices.

Anyhow, that’s where we are today, except for one more point. The Senate has managed to plow through and dispense fifteen amendments. We are now up to FOUR HUNDRED AND THIRTY SEVEN submitted amendments! Only four hundred and twenty two more to go.

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Link over to the Confluence HERE. They caught it as Senator Boxer was able to effectuate  tabling the  Nelson Amendment on abortion. I’ll have more later.

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If you want to make your own evaluation of the health bill’s progress, go to Thomas at the Library of Congress. In fact, aside from information from pundits you trust, this is one of the best ways to avoid heart palpitations. That is because the amendments are numbered and entered before they are debated. That gives you a little time to read them for yourself and ponder a few questions. Here is how:

As we said, on November 21st the Senate agreed to debate H.R. 3590 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”.  That debate began on December 2nd. Since  HR. 3590 was amended by S.Amdt.2786, and changed to the health care act, as of this morning, another 91 amendments have been proposed. Several have been voted on and approved.

They are numbered and listed in numerical order as they arrive to the Senate Floor. Most of them do not yet have titles, but are to be given them at the time of their debate. They all have text and can be found and read by doing a search at the Library of Congress. If you want to try, it’s really pretty easy after you get the hang of it, and it is public information to which everyone is entitled. Go HERE.

This is the search page for all bills.  Type in where it says “word/phrase”, the title: “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”, and hit the orange search button below.

Right now this search will give you a list of around 60 possible bills, with one at the top listed exactly as entered. That is H.R.3590.AS. Clicking on that link will take you to the index of the bill, from which you can do several interesting things. Click the link that says: “Bill Summary & Status file”. This will give you an overview of all the places the bill’s activity is being recorded.

Click “Amendments”. This will give you a list of 92, or possibly more, later in the day, with the first one, S.AMDT.2786 that changed the bill from a homeowners affordablity bill, to a health care bill at the top. It you want to read more about these later, or get the text just click on one of the amendment numbers.

However, let’s do a back click to the previous page. All the current information about the bill that the Library of Congress has can be gathered from this location. The current text can be downloaded from here; also cosponsors, dates, and related bills.

If you want to know what happened yesterday, The Congressional Record (CR) does what it’s title suggests; It records for posterity all the debate and action that occurred. So click the link that says “Congressional Record with Amendments”. This will take you to an index of all activity that H.R.3590 has received since it was first introduced to the Senate.

As an example, scroll down to 12/2/09 and AMDT.2808. It says it was proposed by Durbin for Vitter. The number below; CRS12152 is the link to the overview of  the index of the actual debate and speech as recorded in text. Don’t be fooled by the title, “SERVICE MEMBERS HOME OWNERSHIP TAX ACT OF 2009”, remember, that was the bill’s title before it was gutted and the health bill inserted. The CR must maintain the chain of information. Click on the top link dated “Senate – December 02, 2009”. There is the index. The debate for S.AMDT.2808 is index listed by page. Clicking a page will give you a word for word text of the debate till the next page.

Back clicking to the Congressional Record index and checking all the references for S.AMDT.2808, you will see that this amendment was voted on and passed. So, it is now a part of bill H.R. 3590.

Similarly, if you want to see what was said by Senator McCain, yesterday, in regards to Social Security, check out December 3rd. On November 30th he had recommended that the Bill be sent to the Finance Committee. That motion was voted down yesterday.

Try it out, and make up your own mind about what is happening.

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H.R. 3590 is on the Senate schedule for debate tomorrow. Open Congress is reporting that an Abortion amendment similar to the Stupak amendment is likely to be introduced by Senator Nelson. However, it’s thought that the Democrats will filibuster, thus forcing a 2/3 vote. They think they have it and can prevent the amendment’s inclusion. Check the link below:

http://www.opencongress.org/articles/view/1381-Senate-Will-Vote-on-Controvesial-Abortion-Language

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