Saturday, November 07, 2009

H.R. 3962 passes - YESSSSSS!

After more than 12 hours of debate on a Saturday, and nearly 100 years of delay, dallying, and outright obstruction, the House passed a significant health care reform measure.

With a tally of 220 in favor, 215 against, and none voting present or not voting, H.R. 3962 passed the House of Representatives. 39 Democrats crossed over and voted with the Republicans, while 1 Republican, Joseph Cao of Louisiana, voted with the majority Democrats.

All of AZ's Democrats voted in favor of health care reform; all of AZ's Republican opposed health care reform.

Harry Mitchell's statement of support (pre-vote) is here.
Gabrielle Giffords statement of support (pre-vote) here.
Ann Kirkpatrick's statement on her vote is here.
Jeff Flake's statement about his vote here.
Trent Franks' statement on the vote here.

The others, Pastor, Grijalva, and Shadegg, didn't have relevent statements up on their House websites as of the writing of this post.

Biggest disappointment: By a vote of 240 to 194, with 1 voting present (AZ's John Shadegg...more on that in a moment), the House amended H.R. 3962 with language proposed by Bart Stupak (D-MI) to ban payments for abortions under the public option.

Shadegg's plan behind the "present" vote was that by voting that way, he could help defeat the amendment without actually voting against it. He thought that would be a good tactic to defeat the underlying bill. He thought that the anti-choice amendment made the bill palatable for some reluctant Dems.

As for AZ's delegation, the five Democrats voted against the Stupak amendment while Republicans Franks and Flake voted in support. [Thanks to commenter Eli Blake for spotting the typo here. This is the corrected version.]

As was noted by most of the speakers who opposed the amendment, funding for abortions was already pretty much banned anyway (Section 222, or page 110 of this .pdf, courtesy of the House Rules Committee). Stupak's amendment was actually a ploy to whittle away at private access to a legal medical procedure.

One ray of hope here: The amendment could still be stripped out in conference committee, which will be needed because the Senate's version of health care reform is *somewhat* different than the House's.

There's a lot more to say on this, but my cold is kicking my butt, so let me close with this:

Thank you, Congresswomen Giffords, Congresswoman Kirkpatrick, Congressman Pastor, Congressman Grijalva, and especially (because he is my representative) Congressman Mitchell.

Your votes today to support the interests of your constituents ahead of the interests of big insurance companies illustrates why your constituents elected you in the first place.

And why they'll continue to elect you for as long as want to serve as their representatives.



Eli Blake said...


You contradicted yourself when you made a big deal about Shadegg voting 'present' on the stupid amendment but then wrote that all three Arizona Republicans voted for it. You may want to edit that.

cpmaz said...

Good eye, Eli.

Post edited and corrected.