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Thread: Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act

  1. #131
    Quote Originally Posted by momo3
    Got an email yesterday from Amy Kloubchar (MN) and she stated that the vote for CDRPA was placed on the calendar Aug. 3rd. Why so long for a vote? Is it still on the calendar? How do I find out? Thanks.
    Kathy--yes, it was moved out of committee and placed on the senate calendar on 8/03/07. Essentially, placed in a queue with lots of other bills waiting for consideration (a vote) by the full senate. Senator Tom Coburn (R) OK has placed a "hold" on the CDRPA meaning he is blocking it from coming to the floor of the senate for a vote. The Senate Majority Leader, Senator Harry Reid, can choose to send it to the senate floor anyway, regardless of the hold. Therefore, right now, we have these options open--and we can act on all of them:

    *write/call Sen. Coburn's office asking him to lift the hold
    *write/call Sen. Reid's office asking him to send the bill to the senate floor regardless of the hold
    *write/call our state senators and ask them to cosponsor the bill if they haven't already (thank them if they have--both MN senators are co-sponsors).
    *submit a message to under "Letters to Leaders" regarding the CDRPA and how important it is and asking Sen. Coburn to lift the hold.
    *call/write your national/state/local media outlet and submit a story idea on the CDRPA and the importance of passage and how the Senator from Oklahoma has put a hold on the bill.

    And--how about Bostondad's national call in day?

  2. #132
    Are we going to do a national call in day, Sue?

  3. #133
    Quote Originally Posted by dan_nc
    Are we going to do a national call in day, Sue?
    Dan--Bostondad was trying to organize one recently in this thread. Please look back about half a dozen pages.

  4. #134
    Thanks Sue. See it now. When do we start calling!

    Quote Originally Posted by bostondad
    Time to dust off the phones and vent some of that pent up anger and frustration in the right direction. (Boy, am I pissed)

    Senator Coburn is holding up not just a “bill” but a bill that represents an “emancipation proclamation”.

    A bill that says to the spinal cord community we recognize you and want to help you out of those chairs.

    This is not just some bill for a pet highway project or a bridge to nowhere, this is a bill about the hopes and dreams of real people struggling to stay healthy and to one day to heal and be set free of the confinements of paralysis.

    It is a bill that may one day relieve the heartache and pain that parents, families and friends feel for their injured loved ones.

    Holding this bill is mean spirited and I feel is has nothing to do with duplicate spending. Dr. Coburn should ask himself, “What would Jesus do?” Would Jesus look into wallet and say, “Come on man, I gave at the office!” I DON’T THINK SO! Did not Jesus “cure” a paralyzed man?
    So Dr. Coburn what WWJD?

    What is Senator Coburn’s true reason for holding this bill? If we could figure that out we have chance of having him release it….maybe. If, in some petty way, it is because it has Christopher and Dana Reeves’ names attached to it there is not much that we can do about that.

    If it is about the funding of research we certainly can make an argument about thAT, as research funding has been cut versus the long term costs of care and the significant savings that can be had with a cure.

    We need to send a strong unified message to the Senator that this bill needs to be released, a message that he will listen to. Also, a message that he can not spin out of.

    Thoughts on a refined message? And what day we should do this?

    And Sue, right on , sometimes you gotta do just what you gotta do.

  5. #135
    Senior Member Leo's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
    Yankton, South Dakota
    hi dan,

    i listened to cspan until they ended last night and no action on cdrpa

    sen. reid read off the future session days but to fast for me to catch. for some reason i thought they were ending but we do have more time

    sue's contact points are if we can get more folks from oklahoma, cousins, uncles and who ever to call him

    more later

    2010 SCINet Clinical Trial Support Squad Member

    "You kids and your cures, why back when I was injured they gave us a wheelchair and that's the way it was and we liked it!" Grumpy Old Man

    .."i used to be able to goof around so much because i knew Superman had my back. now all i've got is his example -- and that's gonna have to be enough."

  6. #136
    Here is another article about Senator Coburn's use of the hold to block legislation. It is a bittersweet consolation that CDRPA is getting attention as one of the prime examples of the egregiousness of Coburn's use of the hold.

    Coburn Has Learned To Just Say No
    On a cold Wednesday morning in mid-December, with bills piling up and lawmakers increasingly eager to get out of town for the holidays, Senate Majority Leader Reid set aside three hours for a demonstration on wasting time.
    GOP aides groaned that Reid was devoting precious hours for political theater, and Minority Leader McConnell said Reid's demonstration was itself a waste of time. But Reid was determined to deliver the message that it was Republicans who were gumming up the works.
    And, as one Democratic aide made plain that day, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., was the poster boy for their frustration.
    Democratic lawmakers did their best to try to pass what seemed to be non-controversial bills -- including the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act and a bill addressing traumatic brain injuries in veterans.
    But, in a repeat of a scene that became common this fall, Coburn or a Republican lawmaker acting on his behalf objected to unanimous consent agreements to adopt the bills.
    The Senate was able to pass a handful of bills Coburn had holds on later in the week -- most notably Federal Housing Administration legislation and a Coburn-sponsored amendment that would have delayed lifting the cap on FHA reverse mortgages.
    And Wednesday, the Senate passed legislation to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, another bill on which Coburn had placed a hold.
    But those bills were merely drops in the pond of 90-plus bills, on which Coburn has put holds.
    In December alone, Coburn blocked unanimous consent on such items as the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and a bill addressing infrastructure needs for Washington's Metro system.
    Coburn has drawn the ire of Democrats and Republicans for his efforts to object to agreements that would allow legislation to pass without procedural hurdles -- or floor debate.
    One of the final acts taken by the Senate before it left Wednesday night was to set up votes next year on energy legislation that Coburn had delayed.
    "We've been more than reasonable waiting to work through this, in my opinion," said Reid. "I think it's unreasonable he has held these up."
    But no senator could be surprised by his behavior. Coburn sent a letter to senators at the beginning of the month warning them against using the traditionally busy end-of-year timeframe to push bills that would increase spending without running them past him first.
    Coburn, in an interview with CongressDaily, said he was not trying to burn bridges with his colleagues on either side of the aisle.
    "My intention is not to create ill will," Coburn said. "My intention is to follow my oath ... how are we affording the government that we have? The answer to that is we're borrowing from the next two generations. I'd much rather have the ill will of my peers here than place a ... much larger burden on the next generation."
    Even though he was unable to hold off action on the FHA bill any longer, Coburn stood by his decision to slow the process. Objecting to unanimous consent allowed a debate to occur and amendments to be offered on the measure, which he maintains is his primary goal.
    "We're seen as 'Dr. No,'" Coburn, a licensed physician said, referring to a James Bond villain. "But we're not 'Dr. No.' We're 'Dr. Stop and Wait a Minute.' "
    While some senators have hidden their roles in the process by asking a colleague to object on their behalf, Coburn pulls no punches. If another senator asks if Coburn is behind a hold, he will answer, sometimes referring to a card he carries that lists the 90-plus bills that he has holds on.
    One GOP aide agreed Coburn has been respectful of his colleagues, and that his staff has been easy to work with. "It's hardly a 'kiss the ring' situation," the aide said.
    But courtesy and accommodation do not change the reality that some Republican lawmakers take offense at and are frustrated by Coburn's tactics.
    "At worst, it irritates folks who have been at the negotiating table, on both sides of the aisle," a second Republican aide said.
    One Democratic aide stressed the same point -- that Coburn is hurting the Senate as a whole, and not just Democrats.
    "I don't want to make any enemies," Coburn said. "But if I do, I'll have to live with that." By Ben Schneider

  7. #137
    Quote Originally Posted by Leo
    hi dan,

    i listened to cspan until they ended last night and no action on cdrpa

    sen. reid read off the future session days but to fast for me to catch. for some reason i thought they were ending but we do have more time

    sue's contact points are if we can get more folks from oklahoma, cousins, uncles and who ever to call him

    more later
    The Senate is finished with legislative business for the year, but that is not the end of the process for CDRPA. The list of dates Senator Reid read are for "pro forma" sessions in which the Senate convenes as a formality (to avoid "recess appointments") but does not conduct any actual legislative business. The Senate will return for legislative business on January 22nd. CDRPA will remain alive and on the legislative calendar when the Senate returns. Legislation does not die until the end of 2008 when a new Congress is elected. So we have all next year to get CDRPA through the Senate and to the President.
    Last edited by cubsfandc; 12-20-2007 at 04:46 PM.

  8. #138
    I'm trying to compose a letter to Senator Coburn and call me but I have questions. This ONE Senator is blocking a vote by ALL Senators??? I mean, without his permission, there will be no vote? Is he being asked to support stem cell research? I think I read the answers already, please confirm. What other key points, to keep it short. Thanks!

  9. #139
    Correct, the CDRPA is not about stem cells at all. It is only funding for federally approved research methods. Correct, one guy, Coburn, can hold the whole thing. I suspect this was originally a "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" type allowance of the good-ol'-boy system. The only other person that can override these holds is the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, NV.

    What you want to say probably depends whether you're writing to support the CDRPA or complain about the hold system and this abuse of it. Personally, I'm having trouble focusing on an issue! They say to focus on one issue in any letter. Seasoned advocates say to keep it short, one issue per letter, don't forget he's a doctor if that is useful, I'd tell him you're a vet for sure. Tell him it's a bipartisan bill (which he already knows). That it is written to benefit all paralyzed Americans, 2 million of us, not just the 250,000 SCI's. That more are coming home from Iraq all the time. Etc, I'm sure you have much more that is much better! A lot of Coburn's objections are about the budget.

    Here's a link to info re the bill:

    That page hasn't been updated, so disregard it re bill status. CDRPA has passed in the House, been released from the Senate committee. Coburn releasing the hold will allow it to be voted on by the full Senate, which probably means passage (barring Bush veto, unlikely to happen).

    This link takes you to the bill's current status:

    32 Senatorial cosponsors! With this Democratic majority, I absolutely think it would pass, given the chance.

  10. #140
    Christ, if it's unlikely Bush will veto, what's this guy Coburn's holdup. Thanks for clarifying that and the links, Betheny. Nice outline, too, thanks.

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