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Crapo, Risch join in bare Senate GOP majority to proceed to debate health care bill

Both Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch joined in the GOP’s bare majority in the Senate today to approve a motion to proceed with Senate health care legislation. The only two Republicans to dissent were Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine; Arizona Sen. John McCain returned from cancer surgery and cast a yes vote, then declared in a passionate speech that he wouldn’t support the bill as-is. Vice President Mike Pence broke the tie to advance the bill; that opens the door to debate over the next few days on a series of possible major amendments in what Senate-watchers call a “vote-a-rama.”

Here are statements from Crapo and Risch on their votes today:

CRAPO: “It was good to see Sen. McCain return to the Senate as we move forward with health care reform.  Today, the Senate took the first step to fulfill its promise to repeal Obamacare.  I voted to move forward to begin this debate.  With premiums rising and coverage options disappearing, the status quo is no longer an option.  Over the coming days, the Senate will consider a number of ideas and amendments.  I will be active in that debate and in doing so, will keep in mind the views and opinions expressed to me by Idahoans.”

RISCH: “I voted against the Affordable Care Act in 2009 because, as we are seeing today, it is unsustainable and unaffordable. Today’s vote will allow my colleagues and I to begin debate and continue working on a health care solution driven by the wants and needs of the American people, not the wants and needs of the federal government.”

 




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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