Friday, October 26, 2007

Heller to Nevada middle class families: "I Got Mine..."

Cross posted at Desert Beacon:

Should Nevada District 2 Congressional Representative Dean Heller ever have anything to say about the 110th Congress not accomplishing anything, or some comment to make about parliamentary stunts – merely saying “October 25, 2007” should quiet him immediately. The House Republicans pulled out all the parliamentary stops to prevent the passage of H.R. 3963 (Childrens Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act). The fun began on roll call 1001 and lasted through roll call vote 1009.

The first gimmick from the GOP camp was a motion to adjourn. [roll call 1001] Remember from Civics class that a motion to adjourn is always in order, so as we’ll see, the Republicans tried it twice. The second motion to adjourn failed on roll call 1002, 170-222, with Nevada Representatives Heller and Porter both voting in favor of adjourning the House without discussing the SCHIP bill.

Fresh from that failure the Republicans lost their attempt to prevent the resolution calling for consideration of the SCHIP bill from coming to a vote. [roll call 1003] Again, Representatives Heller and Porter marched along with the Republican leadership.

However, the GOP’s bag of parliamentary tricks was far from empty, so CSPAN views got to watch a vote on whether to table a motion to reconsider H.R. 3963. The motion to reconsider failed as well, 218-183 on roll call 1004. Representatives Heller and Porter continued their “March of the Republicans.” But wait, there was more.

At this point the Republicans pulled out another motion to adjourn, the second attempt to do this on one bill. This second attempt failed on a 165-224 vote. [roll call 1005] Representatives Heller and Porter continued following the party line. The Republicans tried defeating a motion ordering the “previous question,” [roll call 1006] and lost 221-188. Representatives Heller and Porter faithfully followed leadership instructions.

The resolution providing for consideration of H.R. 3963 passed 215-187 on roll call 1007. Once more Representatives Heller and Porter had an opportunity to support the reauthorization of SCHIP and once more they passed on it.

Success for the SCHIP bill was now within sight, but faced the Republican’s New Favorite Toy, the “Motion to Recommit with Instructions.” This attempt to scuttle the bill failed 164 to 242 on roll call 1008. Representatives Porter and Heller were, again, on the losing end.

On the final vote on H.R. 3963, Representative Porter did exactly as he had done during previous SCHIP legislation; voting against it during the parliamentary votes and for it on final passage. [roll call 1009] Once more Representative Heller did exactly as he had done before; voting against the reauthorization of the SCHIP program. Of the three members of the House of Representatives from Nevada only Representative Shelley Berkley (D-NV1) voted for the SCHIP reauthorization consistently.

Representative Heller was worried that illegal immigrants might “scam” the SCHIP program; language was added to H.R. 3963 to prevent that. He was disturbed that people earning $83,000 would be eligible, even though none were; language was added to address that issue. He was perturbed that the emphasis wasn’t on “poor children” although the purpose of SCHIP has never been to cover those in poverty; Medicare programs handle services for people with that level of need. In short, Representative Heller (R-NV2) has no interest in supporting state health care services for struggling middle class Nevadans who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid/Medicare programs but too little to afford family health care. He has hi federally subsidized health care program, but evidently sees no value in extending coverage to those less fortunate than himself. If I remember correctly, this attitude was once described as: “I got mine, now you try to get yours, sucker.”

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

New TV Ad Targeting Heller on Children's Health Care Vote

Americans United for Change are targeting Dean Heller and several other Republican House members to change their mind and override Bush's veto of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The powerful ad has a simple message: does Heller stand with Bush or the children of Nevada.


Cross posted from My Silver State.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Heller refuses to override Bush's SCHIP veto

Dean Heller, Nevada's 3rd Congressional District representative in Congress, is being asked to help override the veto of SCHIP by George Bush. SCHIP is the children's health insurance legislation. [Lahontan Valley News and Fallon Eagle Standard]

The program was created to provide health insurance to the children of the country's working poor. Bush objected to the bill's expansion of that program to provide health coverage to 10 million children from the 6 million it now serves.

"In only his fourth veto ever, (Bush) blocked health-care coverage for millions of uninsured - and mostly poor - kids," organization officials said in announcing the rally. "We need just 15 more Republicans in Congress to break with Bush to override the veto."

"There are a few crumbs on the table for children and families that are struggling and I'd like to see them get the help," said Brad Merrill, of Carson City.

Lana Galyean, of Carson City, said Bush's veto was "irresponsible."

"It's extremely important we look after our children and this administration has been unwilling to do that," she said.

According to the, Nevada has one of the nation's worst rates of uninsured children in the nation, with more than 100,000 not covered by any policy. About 34,000 children in Nevada are covered by SCHIP.

Heller refuses to override the Bush veto. Nevadans should refuse to return Heller to Congress in 2008. Heller has three children of his own; Harris, 17; Drew, 15; and Emmy, 10. Their daughter, Hilary, attends Arizona State University according to his website. Fortunately he isn't poor and doesn't have to face the plight of poor families when their children need medical help.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Heller: The Anti-Family Values Congressman

Dean Heller has reiterated his stance against the expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). In August he said: "This Congress is seeking to create a massive and unnecessary federally funded health program."

Problem is, the American people simply don't agree with him, as an overwhelming 72% support the explansion of SCHIP. Republicans alway talk about "family values" but when push comes to shove, they always chicken out. Heller's no exception here. His stance against SCHIP is a clear stance against family values.

As for the fall out, the last part of the Las Vegas Sun article by Lisa Mascaro is really interesting:

Bloggers have targeted Heller. But that might help him among supporters back home.

Conservative activist Chuck Muth in Reno said Heller's stance will earn him favor with his conservative base. Heller's district is largely Republican and the congressman would likely face greater disapproval if he were to shift suddenly and vote to override Bush's veto.

Heller's greater threat, Muth said, would be a primary challenge from the right, as he faced last year.

"It's going to be very easy" for Heller to explain to voters in his district that he supported the program at its current levels, but not expanding it, Muth said.

"Very easy?" I don't think so. When you act against the wishes of 72% of your electorate, you're in deep trouble. And as for the bloggers (which include the Desert Beacon and Myrna who have both posted extensively on this issue) - well, we just won't stop blogging about this.

Cross posted from My Silver State.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Bush Vetoes Uninsured Children’s Healthcare

Photo: George and Laura Bush join Alberto Gonzales and his wife for lunch at the Bush ranch in Texas. Notice no poor uninsured children are with them.

It is a question whether George Bush or Dick Cheney is the real Darth Vader. Perhaps both are. [Washington Post] Yesterday Bush vetoed the $35 billion expansion of a popular children's health insurance program.

Congress has scheduled October 18 for a vote to override the veto, in hopes that a grass-roots campaign by health-policy advocates and a barrage of television and radio advertisements will win over the 15 or so House Republicans they will need to overcome Bush's opposition.

A reminder that Nevada’s 2nd District Congressman, Dean Heller, voted against the children’s health insurance program. Perhaps he qualifies as Darth Vader, Jr. Heller should be adopted by George Bush since Heller seems to be a Bush offspring.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Heller's Uncompassionate Conservativism

cross posted at Desert Beacon

Nevada Representative Dean Heller (R-NV2) is a fine little Bush soldier, and his voting record proves it.

Rep. Heller voted to kill (recommit) H.R. 3567 the “Small Business Investment Expansion Act” on roll call 922, and then on roll call 923 joined 71 others to vote against the measure, on September 27, 2007. The bill, if enacted by the Senate and signed by the President, would increase small business investment company limits for companies owned by women and minorities; provide increased capital investment requirements with respect to small manufacturing companies; provide for a study of the availability of equity capital in low income urban and rural areas; and provide a streamlined application process for new market venture capital.

Why Rep. Heller would oppose a bill designed to promote entrepreneurship, and at least study the availability of equity capital in rural areas is indeed puzzling since he is supposed to be representing a mostly rural district, and sounds like he supports small business expansion and development. The bill has now been sent to the Senate subcommittee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

During roll call 920 he voted to kill (recommit) H.R. 3121, the “Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act of 2007.” He joined 145 others in opposing this bill, which passed 263-146. This bill was passed to restore the financial solvency of the national flood insurance program, and to make available “multi-peril” coverage for damage resulting from windstorms and floods. It amends the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 as follows: “(1) provide phase-in actuarial rates for nonresidential properties and non-primary residences; (2) provide multiperil coverage for flood and windstorm; (3) prohibit duplicative coverage; (4) revise maximum coverage limits; and (5) provide coverage for additional living expenses, basement improvements, business interruption, and replacement cost of contents.” [LOC] Considering the damages racked up in Florida, Louisiana, and the Gulf Coast, it’s hard to imagine why Rep. Heller would oppose “multi-peril” coverage, but he did.

Actually, Rep. Heller didn’t want to vote on anything on September 27th, or at least it seems that way, because he voted to adjourn the House without taking up any business on roll call 914.

The day before, September 26th, he voted against the “Popcorn Workers Lung Disease Prevention Act” H.R. 2693 on roll call 913. The bill passed 260-154. This vote disengages “compassionate” from conservative in an instant. The bill “…Directs the Secretary of Labor to promulgate an interim final standard regulating worker exposure to diacetyl that applies to all: (1) locations in the flavoring manufacturing industry that manufacture, use, handle, or process diacetyl; and (2) microwave popcorn production and packaging establishments that use diacetyl-containing flavors in the manufacture of microwave popcorn.” [LOC] Evidently, the Bush Administration can’t make up its mind if diacetyl is dangerous, because OSHA has yet to determine standards for handling it. However, this “regulatory paralysis” is causing an increasing number of cases of “fixed obstructive lung disease, or bronchiolitis obliterans. [WaPo] Apparently, Rep. Heller is not concerned.

Further establishing his “un-compassionate conservative” credentials, on September 25th he voted against the “Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act” H.R. 976 on roll call 906.

But, Representative Heller soldiers on, joining the reactionary Republican ranks, evidently happy to announce his concern for the financial and physical well being of his constituents (and their cohorts across the country) while voting against just that.