This was a vote on a motion to recommit that would have allowed the Prevention and Public Health Fund to continue serving senior citizens. This motion was offered to legislation eliminating the Prevention and Public Health Fund entirely. A motion to recommit with instructions is the minority's opportunity to torpedo or significantly change a bill before a final up-or-down vote on the measure.
Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA) urged support for this motion to recommit: “…While I oppose the underlying bill, I am offering this final amendment on a topic that I know is important to all of us--our nation's seniors. Our seniors have worked hard all their lives. Many of them have lived through some of the most trying times in American history, including the Great Depression and two world wars….When I talk to seniors in my district, I hear far too often that many of them are struggling. This is unacceptable. No senior should retire into poverty or have difficulty paying their medical bills….I am determined to fight for our seniors and to make sure that we keep our promises to them. That is why this final amendment will ensure that the repeal of the Prevention and Public Health Fund will not apply to prevention, wellness, and public health activities for individuals 65 years of age or older.”
Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) opposed the motion to recommit: “Members were brought here to get runaway spending under control; but rather than help us avoid a fiscal crisis, House Democrats have brought forward an MTR [motion to recommit] that guts the underlying bill and continues the runaway spending that the American people have rejected….Rampant spending on the federal credit card cannot continue. The federal government will be borrowing 42 cents of every Federal dollar spent from this fund. We are facing a $1.6 trillion deficit….This endless spending is fiscally irresponsible and morally bankrupt. Spending today is debt that our children and grandchildren will pay tomorrow.”
The House rejected this motion to recommit by a vote of 189-234. All 189 Democrats present voted “yea.” All 234 Republicans present voted “nay.” As a result, the House rejected a motion to recommit that would have allowed a preventive health care program to continue exclusively for senior citizens.