What: All Issues : Health Care : Access to Health Insurance : HR 4213. (Extending expiring programs, including those to help the unemployed and other items) Motion to allow an amendment that would provide $250 to certain Social Security recipients/On the motion (2010 senate Roll Call 36)
 Who: All Members
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HR 4213. (Extending expiring programs, including those to help the unemployed and other items) Motion to allow an amendment that would provide $250 to certain Social Security recipients/On the motion
senate Roll Call 36     Mar 03, 2010
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

This vote was on allowing to go forward an amendment by Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., that would have given $250 to certain Social Security recipients (seniors, veterans and the disabled). The amendment was offered to a bill that would extend for varying lengths of time, mostly around a year, several programs that would otherwise have expired within a month. These include unemployment benefits, heath insurance subsidies, small business loans and flood insurance.

After Sanders offered his amendment, Judd Gregg, R-N.H., attempted to defeat it with a parliamentary maneuver, saying it violated the Senate’s rules. Sanders then made a motion to waive the rules in this case, which is what this vote was on.

“This amendment would add billions of dollars to the deficit which would have to be paid for by our children. Of course, the reason the COLA is not being given this year is because the law says it should not be,” Gregg said.

“Mr. President, for the first time in 36 years, seniors and disabled veterans and persons with disabilities will not be receiving a cost-of-living adjustment, a COLA on their benefits. The argument for that is that they are not seeing inflationary costs. Go back home and talk to seniors, talk to disabled veterans. They will tell you they are paying sky-high costs for prescription drugs and health care,” Sanders said.

By a vote of 47-50, the motion to waive the rules and allow Sanders’ amendment to go forward was rejected. Of Democrats present, 45 voted for the motion (including the most progressive senators) and 12 voted against it. All but one Republican present voted against the motion. The end result is that the motion to waive the rules failed, Sanders’ amendment was defeated with a parliamentary maneuver, and the bill went forward without language that would have granted a $250 cost of living increase for certain Social Security recipients.

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