Sen. Lincoln fires back | Arkansas Blog

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sen. Lincoln fires back

Posted By on Mon, Nov 30, 2009 at 3:25 PM

Sen. Blanche Lincoln scores a rare political point. She notes Republicans have blocked her effort to have all health legislation amendments posted on-line before they can be offered and put to a vote.


Washington – U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln today said she was disappointed that partisan politics have blocked her efforts to ensure that all Arkansans have the opportunity to review amendments to the health reform legislation currently before the U.S. Senate.
Earlier today, Senate Republicans blocked Lincoln’s request for amendments to be posted online before they can be offered in the Senate and voted on.  Currently, the text of amendments filed in the Senate are not typically made available to the general public until the day after the amendment is filed.  Therefore, if an amendment is debated and voted upon the same day it is filed, the public may never have an opportunity to review the text of that amendment until after it has been acted upon by the Senate.  
“I was looking forward to reviewing all amendments as they become available, and I want to ensure that my constituents have the same opportunity. Over the past months, I have heard from many Arkansans who are frustrated and lack accurate information on the health care proposals in Congress. In response to their comments, I created my ‘Health Resources Page’ to streamline materials from my own website and other Congressional resources. I will continue to update this page with any materials relevant to the ongoing health reform proposals before Congress,” said Lincoln.
The agreement Lincoln hoped to clear through the Senate today would have allowed Arkansans and all Americans to view the text of each amendment being considered in the Senate, giving constituents the opportunity to follow the floor debate and share their views with Lincoln and other elected representatives.  The Senate Finance Committee, of which Lincoln is a member, followed a similar practice while the committee drafted its bill, a process known as “mark-up.”  
“I will continue my fight to do all in my power to ensure that as health care is debated in the Senate, Arkansans have ample opportunity to review the bills and share their thoughts and observations with me,” said Lincoln.
Last month, Lincoln led a group of Democratic Senators in pressuring Senate leaders for greater transparency in the health insurance reform debate. 

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