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Sunday, March 20, 2005

Republicans Move Slowly to Tackle Our Most Pressing Issues, But Haul Ass To Pander to Their Base

It's interesting how many hurdles Republican politicians can overcome -- and how fast they can act -- when something is in their self-interest. We must all remember this when they claim their hands are tied and they can't make something happen that will serve the nation -- but not necessarily their chances at reelection or their urges to award their cronies.

I think, considering the precedent they're displaying regarding the Terri Schiavo case, we should all demand equally quick and decisive action to solve the nation's health care crisis, improve public schools and quell the record prices we're now paying for gas.


Senate Passes Legislation on Schiavo Case

WASHINGTON -- The Senate passed a bill that could prolong Terri Schiavo's life while House Republicans, stalled by Democrats, scrambled to bring enough lawmakers back to the Capitol for an emergency vote early Monday.

President Bush rushed back from his Texas ranch for a chance to sign the measure that Republicans view as an opportunity to strengthen their support among religious conservatives ahead of next year's congressional elections.

Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., said Sunday that Schiavo and members of her family have "become political pawns to larger political issues."

GOP leaders planned a House vote just past midnight, hours after the Senate approved the bill by voice vote.

The White House said the president would act as soon as the measure reaches him.

A Senate bill passed by the House is returned to the Senate enrollment clerk's office where it is printed on parchment and, when speed is important, driven immediately to the White House by Senate personnel. There, the White House clerk takes custody of the legislation and prepares it for the president to sign into law. The procedure is routine when quick action is important, such as on overdue budget bills, and can be handled in minutes as opposed to hours.

The White House made arrangements for Bush to sign the measure at any hour, although without fanfare.

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., said members scattered across the globe were being summoned back to Washington by aides to House Majority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

Blunt's office sent a notice to members on their handheld computers Friday to be prepared to return to Washington on Sunday, said spokeswoman Burson Taylor.

In emergencies, when that does not work, the whip's office activates a phone tree, where one member is charged with calling the next. "We do anticipate a quorum," she said.

..."I hope we're not ... making this human tragedy a political issue," Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), R-Ariz., told ABC's "This Week." "We've got plenty of other issues that are political in nature for us to fight about." -- Jim Abrams, Associated Press Writer

Read the entire article here --> http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050321/ap_on_go_co/schiavo_congress

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