Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis: Sens. Stevens and Murkowski Stand in the Way of “Advancing America 's Priorities”

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sens. Stevens and Murkowski Stand in the Way of “Advancing America 's Priorities”

Here we go again...

While Stevens earlier in the month praised an agreement to combat online child pornography, today he (along with Sen. Murkowski) HELPED TO BLOCK "Advancing America's Priorities Act" (S. 3297) which includes a provision to "combat child exploitation."

Enhancing Child Pornography Prosecution Act/ Child Pornography Prosecution Act/ PROTECT Our Children Act, which would have cracked down on child pornography, closed a legal loophole to ensure child pornography offenses are prohibited to their fullest extent under the law and streamlined the protection and investigation of child exploitation cases by establishing a Special Counsel for Child Exploitation Prevention within the Department of Justice
This afternoon, by a vote of 52 - 43, Republican Senators stuck with Tom Coburn and voted against moving forward of the Omnibus package, which included numerous vital bills sponsored by some of those same GOP Senators.

The roll call vote is here. Susan Collins (ME) burnished her right wing credentials by sticking with Coburn.

Those Republicans filibustered the bill and wouldn't even allow debate to proceed.
So once again, Stevens supports a "fluff piece" that would happen with or without his support, then votes lockstep with the Republicans AGAINST the issue he pretended to support...on a bill that actually could make a difference.

Other things in the Bill that Ted and Lisa voted against:

Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act, which supported and enhanced cooperation in paralysis research, rehabilitation, and quality of life programs for people with paralysis

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Registry Act, which established a national registry to collect data to improve the study of ALS

Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Act, which would strengthen the ability of the Federal Government to investigate and prosecute unsolved murders from the civil rights era

Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act, which would have helped provide support services to women suffering from postpartum depression and educate mothers and their families about these conditions

Stroke Treatment and Ongoing Prevention Act, which was aimed at improving the care of patients presenting with stroke symptoms

Vision Care for Kids Act, which provided access to eye exams, treatment and vision services for children

Drug Endangered Children Act, which authorized grants to help transition drug endangered children into safe environments

Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Reauthorization and Improvement Act, which communities address the needs of the mentally ill in the justice system.

Some history: Called the "Tomnibus Bill" by the New York Times because of Tom Coburn's vehement resistence:
Congress has dealt for decades with catchall bills known as omnibus legislation. Now, for the first time, comes the Tomnibus.

A product of Democratic frustration with the tactics of Senator Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican and physician who has become the Dr. No of the Senate, the Tomnibus is a $10 billion collection of Coburn-blocked measures assembled by the Senate leadership in an effort to break his solitary grip on the legislative process.

Americans United for Change said it best:
“Another bill, another Republican move of obstructionism,” said Caren Benjamin of Americans United for Change. “This legislation would have helped millions of Americans from all avenues - including protecting our children from being exploited and providing funding to those suffering from spinal cord injuries and ALS. By voting against the bill, Alexander, Corker and their Republicans colleagues turned their backs on those most in need and stood in the way of real progress on countless fronts. It is a sad day when voters can no longer count on their representatives to stand up for them when they at their most vulnerable.”

Contact Ted Stevens and Lisa Murkowski to let them know how you feel.

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