Thursday, July 31, 2008

Kennedy-Brownback Bill defeated in Senate

Here's a summary from Patricia Bauer's website:
The Prenatal and Postnatal Diagnosis Conditions Awareness Act, aimed at providing accurate and comprehensive information to parents who receive a diagnosis of a disability for their child, died today in a massive Senate showdown over federal spending.
Senate Bill 1810 was among a package of about three dozen bills that went down in a partisan vote, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid attempted to break a logjam created by Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. Coburn, who has become known as the Senate’s “Dr. No,” had used a procedural device to block the bills, which included some $10 billion worth of bipartisan legislation.
Reid had hoped to outgun Coburn by combining the three dozen bills into one massive “Advancing America’s Priorities Act”, but the measure failed to rally the required 60 senators needed to bring it to a vote. Coburn had threatened a filibuster if the measure advanced.

However he said he would back most of the measures if the lawmakers did something about high gas prices.

HIGH GAS PRICES???? Are you kidding me? A pregnant woman may not receive accurate prenatal information and support regarding a DS diagnosis because of HIGH GAS PRICES? Does anyone else feel like slitting the tires of their car right now?

Here's the joint response from the National Down Syndrome Society and the National Down Syndrome Congress:
By a vote of 52-40, the Senate voted on Monday, July 28 against proceeding to debate on S. 3297, the Advancing America's Priorities Act, which bundled together the Prenatal and Postnatal Diagnosis Conditions Awareness Act (known as the Kennedy-Brownback bill) and many other bills into one piece of legislation. Unfortunately, we fell eight votes short of the 60 that were required for the Senate to begin consideration of S. 3297.
This does not mean that the bill is dead. We need you to remain vigilant and hopeful.
This session of Congress is not over.
We still have an opportunity to pass S. 3297 this year so it's absolutely critical that yesterday's disappointment not deter us from our goal. Our work will continue when Congress returns from its summer recess in September. Yesterday's vote was not a reflection of lack of support for the Kennedy-Brownback legislation. Indeed, the bill was reported out favorably in a bipartisan vote by the Senate Health Education Labor Pensions (HELP) Committee. Unfortunately, S. 3297 and the Kennedy-Brownback legislation became caught up in broader disagreements between political parties about matters not related to Kennedy-Brownback. Election year politics are having an impact on every issue debated by the Senate.
Our efforts will continue. We all agree about the importance of this legislation and will let you know when your advocacy efforts will be the most timely and effective.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Living in OK, I can safely say that our representatives are not for the advancement of people with any special needs. One such person sent me an email that IDEA and NCLB was too expensive.