Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday Night. Do You Know Where Your Senator Is?

You and I may be thinking of Thanksgiving (and rightly so!), but today our friends in the Senate are getting ready to vote on a closure measure that would strangle debate on the ObamaCare legislation.  A vote for closure would not only severely limit debate, it would also prevent a pro-life amendment from being submitted.

Here's some details from National Review:
"The debate on Reid's bill is set to begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, with the cloture vote to come around 8 p.m. If it passes, then the Senate will likely take a week off for Thanksgiving and come back to begin the floor debate on Monday, November 30..."
Sen. Mike Johanns (R., Neb.): "Saturday's vote is an abortion vote," he says. "We often use arcane procedures in the Senate that just lose people. Things can get complicated on the process side here, so let me be clear: This cloture vote is a make-or-break vote on the pro-life issue. Reid's bill has language that includes a mechanism for public funding and a significant extension of abortion coverage. If this bill moves to the floor with 60 votes this weekend, the only way to change it is to get 60 votes again. That will be very tough to achieve once the bill goes to the floor. A vote to proceed is thus a vote for extending abortion coverage."

  • U.S. Senator contact info.
  • Live webstreaming from the Senate at Fox (click on "Senate Health Bill Debate") and CNN.
  • The Senate Doctors Show.  This show features the two physicians in the senate (Tom Coburn -- OB/GYN and John Barrasso -- orthopedic surgery).  In their latest episode they discuss this bill and the move toward rationing mammograms.
  • The Christian Medical & Dental Association has resources on this issue, including information about free health clinics, the ideologies involved in this debate, and the offer Mr. Harry Reid recently presented to doctors to garner their support.
  • National Review looks at several of the factors that have driven healthcare costs skyhigh, including the trial lawyer industry, and the third-party-payer system that we as patients often use to pay for medical tests we don't need.
P.S.1. I had never heard of closure, so here's some details from wikipedia:

After cloture has been invoked, the following restrictions apply:
  • No more than thirty hours of debate may occur.[8]
  • No Senator may speak for more than one hour.
  • No amendments may be moved unless they were filed on the day in between the presentation of the petition and the actual cloture vote.
  • All amendments must be relevant to the debate.
  • Certain procedural motions are not permissible.
  • The presiding officer gains additional power in controlling debate.
  • No other matters may be considered until the question upon which cloture was invoked is disposed of.
P.S.2. "The Senate is a more deliberative body than the House of Representatives because the Senate is smaller and its members serve longer terms, allowing for a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere that is somewhat more insulated from public opinion than the House." (Wikipedia, U.S. Senate, retrieved November 21, 2009).

If only, if only.  The reality is that with the healthcare bill, the Senate is following the same destructive path that the House did a few short weeks ago.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

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