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Lipinski votes for health care reconciliation bill.


UPDATED With Lipinski inserts and statement....

WASHINGTON--The House voted 220 to 207 on Thursday night on the final piece of legislation in the Democratic health care package.

The House passed the main part of the bill on Sunday, in a close vote won with a pledge to make some immediate changes in the Senate drafted bill. The changes had to be made in steps in order to avoid the need in the Senate for a filibuster-proof 60 votes.

Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) voted against the base, or underlying bill, which passed with a three vote margin. He was the only Illinois Democrat and one of 34 Democrats to vote no on the base bill. For Democratic leadership and the Obama White House the vote that counted was the one for the main bill on Sunday--not the subsequent votes on the "fixes."

Lipinski said a main reason--but not the only one--he voted no on Sunday--when it counted--was his view that the underlying bill did not have enough safeguards to insure the ban on federal money paying for abortions. He did go on to vote for reconciling the Senate and House version of the bill

The Senate passed the "fixes" in the reconciliation bill on Thursday 56 to 43, and as mentioned, the House voted on it Thursday night. Lipinski was one of the 220 Democrats.

His explanation on his votes below; interesting, no mention of his reservations about the abortion language in the statement. UPDATE: After I posted this, Lipinski spokesman Nathaniel Zimmer sent this: Wrote Zimmer, "Under the rules governing reconciliation, the reconciliation bill cannot address the issue of abortion."


"I voted against the Senate health care bill because it is deeply flawed. But once it passed, I voted for the separate reconciliation bill on Sunday because it makes a number of much-needed improvements to the Senate bill.

It lessens the Senate bill's burden on small businesses in my district by exempting the first 30 employees when calculating a health care tax, removes the "Cornhusker kickback," phases out the Medicare prescription drug 'doughnut hole' that costs many of my elderly constituents $4,000 per year, improves Medicaid funding for Illinois and other states, and makes college more affordable by eliminating subsidies to banks in favor of a direct lending program.

The reconciliation bill also improves on the Senate bill by reducing the number of people whose health insurance plans would be hard hit by an excise tax and by delaying the effective date of the tax.

Today, after a ruling by the Senate parliamentarian resulted in the House of Representatives having to vote again on the reconciliation bill, I cast the same vote I cast on Sunday in favor of the reconciliation bill. The reconciliation bill is the first step in trying to improve the Senate bill, which I opposed. Many more changes are needed to this faulty bill, and I will continue to fight to make those revisions."


Why isn't the President, Congress or its staffers included in this health care legislation? Any ideas? Anyone...anyone at all? No? I didn't think so. Keep the change.

I am glad that Lynn Sweet has brought this to our attention. I though I was mistaken when I watched the vote on C-Span last night. Congressman Lipinski votes NO on Sunday, March 21, 2010. Now he can tell all his constituents he voted NO come November. Oh wait, Congressman Lipinski votes YES on the reconciliation (same) bill on Thursday, March 25, 2010. What is it Congressman? Can't have it both ways. Please take a stand.

Lipinski Cries About Criticism While Constituents Hang
by John Atkinson
Mr. Lipinski, please stop complaining about minor criticisms of you and start governing in the interests of us, your constituents. Please spare us the drama of your bruised feelings arising out of questions about your own healthcare and motivations. We don't really have time to worry about your "feelings".

Remember, we the residents of the 3rd district, have had to endure the "politics as usual" approach of your crew and we take exception. Beginning with the bequeathed congressional seat manipulated by your father and the Chicago machine, we have seen your insider first approach and we reject the same old tired politics and special interest dominated government you grew up in.

Surely, whatever columnists or bloggers say about you, pale in comparison to the hardship faced by many of your fellow residents. Regular people in Chicago and in our suburbs are really hurting. Your rejection of Healthcare for your residents based upon principle begs the question, now that it has passed, are you going to work to repeal it? If it costs too much and expands abortion, why not repeal it?

At a time when greater leadership in Washington is required you have demonstrated very little. You have failed to lower the temperature, put your head down, go to work and create jobs. In fact, you have done just the opposite.

Early in 2009 our nation was teetering on the brink of economic Armageddon. President Obama and the Congress put forth the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and where were you? Well, you took a real stand on that vote didn't you? How can you possibly be the only Member out of 435 to vote "Present" on arguably the most momentous vote the U S Congress has taken since 1941? Not Yes, not No, but Present? And then to have the temerity to be first in line when it comes to taking credit for the stimulus dollars and the jobs that flow into Illinois in spite of your efforts. Remember, almost one third of the stimulus bill that you refused to vote for included tax cuts to the middle class, especially important to citizens in our district. Investment in infrastructure, weatherizing homes and other important job creating projects comprised another third of the bill. The rest included critical extensions of unemployment benefits and other provisions to help real people to able to provide for their families during these very tough times. People like the policemen, firemen, teachers, and union workers who live in the 3rd Congressional District desperately needed you and you let them down.

Illinois was hemorrhaging jobs in 2009 and your constituents are curious why your crowning piece of legislative accomplishment and focus in 2009 was to try and standardize the size of carry on luggage on commercial airlines? I mean, do you think that gem could have waited until you did something about healthcare and jobs?

What about the 67,199 residents of the 3rd Congressional District who were uninsured and without affordable healthcare? Thanks to your colleagues who had the courage to vote YES, and take the heat, your constituents will finally have affordable coverage. I know, you wanted to try and turn this into an abortion issue, but it was really never about abortion to you was it? On March 18 in an interview with Fox News, you and Greta VanSusteren chat:

VANSUSTEREN: "You voted yes. You voted yes last November for the health care. And your vote is now what?"

LIPINSKI: "My vote is now NO based on the fact the Senate bill funds abortion through community health centers and also gives federal subsidies for people to purchase insurance that can cover abortion. Both of those are in direct contradiction of the Hyde Amendment, which is right now the status quo."

You stated in that interview that you were voting against the bill solely due to alleged language providing funding for abortions, yet the headline of your own OP ED article is ” Reform Bill Does Not Lower Costs”, and in your two page statement you site reasons other than abortion funding. Those are the same factually incorrect or misinterpreted statements, which parrot the Republican - Tea Party talking points used from the beginning to bring Healthcare and our President down.

In fact, you have blindly followed Bart Stupak since November, ignoring the ever-widening coalition of credible pro-life leaders and Catholics who supported the Senate/Obama bill. You essentially ceded responsibility for leadership on healthcare to Stupak based upon a strained interpretation of the senate language. In the Fox interview; LIPINSKI: "No. And I'm really letting Bart Stupak -- we can only have one real person who is in charge in terms of working on any kind of language, because the last time we went through the same thing when the bill was in the House". Huh?

We all know you are a diabetic, and I can't pretend to know how difficult that must be for you. Yet, I do know that countless of your fellow Americans, and Illinois 3rd district residents have pre-existing medical conditions too. The difference is, after this election, because you are a United States Congressman, your healthcare is set for life. Yet If your vote on Healthcare Reform had prevailed, your constituent's healthcare future would have been left to the mercy of the special interests.

The abortion issue is a canard, Congressman, and I think you know it. The Senate language is clear and garnered the support of key pro-life constituencies. They recognized that this bill does nothing to increase funding for abortion. I respect that you can have a position of principle on funding of abortion and be wrong on the facts, but I am dumbfounded how you can lean on that as the reason to vote down the bill even as your mentor Stupak resolves the issue, and you cite 5 other reasons on your website before you even mention abortion. Abortion now appears to be an afterthought in your justification of opposing the bill. So which is it Mr. Lipinski, federal funding of abortion as you asserted as your only objection on Fox News, or the 5 other items you list on your website? Please let us know when you decide, in the meantime don’t mind us as we seek more consistent leadership focused on getting things done, not politics as usual in Washington!

What on earth are you all reporting...aren't you all up on current voting...only Lynn Sweet got it right. Lipinski touted that he was against abortion and that he wanted to vote against the health care bill... and he did. We all e-mailed him that we were so PROUD of him. THEN, on the reconciliation, AKA revised healthcare bill, he suddenly voted YES. It STILL included abortion, medicare cuts and an exorbitant amount of spending which will cost us, our children and grandchildren taxes upon taxes, while the unemployed and those who do not wish to work for a living get our money for free... free healthcare, free benefits, while the rest of us who work and care about America pay for those freeloaders. Shame on you, Lipinski, you hypocrite!!! Why aren't we hearing about the flip-flop...let's get an alternate candidate against this liar in November...let's all vote for the Republican running against this "Congressman".

What is interesting is that the bill that Dan Lipinski voted for in November was significantly more fiscally irresponsible and focused on centralizing health care under the federal government than was the one that he voted against this month.
Combine that with the fact that he voted "present" for the 4/5 trillion dollars stimulus bill and stated that he did not vote for it because it was not big enough (he wanted more money for construction), and you realize that our Congressman has no concept of fiscal discipline.
Thomas Jefferson said that "It is incumbent on each generation to pay their debts". Valid 200 years ago. Valid today!

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on March 26, 2010 10:10 AM.

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