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.”

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