Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Talk About Your Symbolism...

The Republicans have been blocking a bill to rescind a devastating 11% cut in Medicare payments to doctors. The Democrats in the House managed to bring the issue to a vote, where it passed overwhelmingly, but they were stymied by Republican obstructionism in the Senate. Two weeks ago, the Democrats managed to get 59 votes, just one vote shy of the 60 needed to break the Republican filibuster. Two Senators were absent that day, however: Sen. John McCain and Sen. Ted Kennedy.

Today, amid astonished applause, Sen. Kennedy returned to the Senate for the first time since his brain surgery to cast the deciding vote to break the filibuster. Seeing that it was a done deal, nine Republican Senators broke ranks and voted to pass the bill as well. (By previous agreement, the vote to break the filibuster was simultaneously a vote to pass the actual bill.) Bush has threatened to veto the Medicare bill--the Republicans are still trying to use this crisis to force changes to Medicare favored by the insurance industry--but it is now clear that veto-proof majorities in both the House and the Senate will act to preserve the Medicare program.

Kennedy hazarded his own fragile health to travel to Washington to vote for this measure, after which he immediately returned to his home in Massachusetts to resume chemotherapy. Sen. Obama interrupted his campaign to fly to Washington and vote for this measure. Meanwhile, McCain was the only Senator who did not even bother to show up. That just says it all, really.


Raised By Republicans said...

McCain can't afford to piss off the AARP. His refusal to show up however, will further count against him among the GOP activists. This puts Bush in particular in a tight spot.

John McCain once again shows that he's not a team player but in demonstrating it by playing hooky on an important vote instead of standing up and voting with the Democrats he shows his true colors.

The Law Talking Guy said...

This was a vote McCain needed to be present for. Ted Kennedy's vote was terrific, because it made sure the vote would get national attention. That scared the other Republicans in this election year who normally have no problem cutting aid to old and poor folks.

Dr. Strangelove said...

Washington Post said Kennedy's vote was not only terrific but essential. According to the NY Times, Harry Reid was overjoyed.

“Without Ted Kennedy, we wouldn’t have gotten the extra nine votes,” said Mr. Reid, who aides said was laughing uproariously in the cloak room after they pulled off the victory. “They knew the die had been cast, so they gave up.”

USwest said...

I really hope Obama takes pains to point out McCain's absence today.