What: All Issues : Health Care : Access to Health Insurance : (H.R. 3153) On a motion to table (kill) a Republican motion to begin debate on a bill that would have extended unemployment insurance and health benefits for laid off workers for one month
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(H.R. 3153) On a motion to table (kill) a Republican motion to begin debate on a bill that would have extended unemployment insurance and health benefits for laid off workers for one month
senate Roll Call 106     Mar 25, 2010
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This was a vote on a motion to table (kill) a motion to begin debate on a bill that would have extended unemployment insurance and health benefits for laid off workers for one month. It also would have prevented a 21% cut in Medicare payments to doctors for one month. The bill, supported by the GOP leadership, would have paid for these extensions by using funds contained in the economic stimulus legislation signed into law by President Obama in 2009 in response to the economic crisis. Republicans attempted to bring their bill to the floor after blocking Democratic efforts to pass legislation providing for extensions of these programs for the unemployed.

Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the motion to begin debate on the bill. Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) then made a motion to table (kill) the motion to begin debate.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) had urged support for the bill, arguing that government spending was causing an explosion in the national debt: “There is a disease that is called consumption--it is syphilis. It is consumption because it consumes you. We have a disease similar to that. Our disease actions in Congress are consuming away the opportunity of America, much of it because we lack perspective but most of it because we lack the will to make the difficult choices that are in front of us.”

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) criticized Republicans for insisting that extensions of unemployment insurance and health insurance coverage for laid off workers be paid for with stimulus funds intended to increase employment: “This is unfair and unfortunate. Here is what we know. Every dollar in an unemployment compensation check that goes to an unemployed person is spent directly into the economy.…What happens to these poor people when we cut off their unemployment compensation? I am not sure where they will go.”

The Senate voted to table (kill) the motion to begin debate on the Republican-backed bill by a vote of 59-40. All 59 Democrats voted “yea.” All 40 Republicans present voted “nay.” As a result, the Senate did not begin formal debate on legislation that would have extended unemployment insurance and health benefits for laid off workers for one month and paid for these extensions by using funds contained in the economic stimulus legislation.

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