Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) desperately wanted to have the US Senate vote on healthcare repeal before the July 4th recess because he was afraid that healthcare supporters (everyone but the 12% of Americans who approve of the bill) would have time to organize opposition. It turns out he was right, and for good reason. As healthcare experts and advocacy groups learn more about the bill, the worse the plan looks for average Americans, including hundreds-of-thousands of New Mexicans who would lose access to care. Need a quick update? Here are three simple stats that explain just what the Republican Senate healthcare bill would mean to New Mexicans.
The Senate is supposed to be a place of compromise, a home for grand debates on the biggest issues.
But Republicans are abusing the rules, turning the time-honored filibuster into a tool of obstruction and gridlock to prevent any debate or progress. Since becoming the minority in 2007, Republicans have threatened to filibuster more than 400 times – twice as much as any previous terms.
With the current rules, just the threat to filibuster is enough to halt proceedings. And they do it to block progress on everything from mundane procedural votes to judicial nominees and the budget.
Abusing this time-honored tradition, Republicans have blocked:
Judicial confirmations to fill 55 judicial vacancies, including 34 considered “judicial emergencies.”
Food Safety Enhancement Act
Wounded Veteran Job Security Act
American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009
And the list goes on and on…
But, in just a few weeks the Senate has the chance to change its rules and require members who threaten a filibuster to actually take to the floor in a real-live debate.