The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, October 21, 2004  

There's a Special Place in Hell

Just when you think you've seen it all, they take it up another notch.

L.A. Weekly reports that at least one Republican senator placed a "hold" on S. 1010, the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Act, one day after the actor and director's death.

According to the Weekly's Nikki Finke ("Where's Their Sense of Decency?"):

The uncontroversial legislation had been expected to sail through committee and then the Senate as easily as it had the House of Representatives where it passed 418 to zero last week. Monday’s action was beyond cruel; it was like opposing Mom and apple pie.

Congressional sources confirmed to L.A. Weekly Tuesday that the hold was placed on the legislation from the Republican side of the aisle. Democratic committee members led by Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) are trying to find out which Republican senator or senators sandbagged S. 1010. The way the Senate system works, any senator can delay a bill without accountability because anonymity is assured.

“We’re shocked,” a source inside the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation told L.A. Weekly on Tuesday. “We had been told the bill was going to pass the Senate, but then the Republicans put a hold on the legislation. We heard it was because Chris has been too outspoken on the stem-cell issue. That was the trigger.

“So it would have passed if Chris hadn’t died.”

What's wrong with this scenario? Finke explains:

Reeve’s S. 1010 is identical to the already passed HR 1998, aimed at enhancing and furthering research into paralysis and improving rehabilitation and quality of life for those with spinal-cord injuries. Even so, one or more Senate GOPers made it a casualty of George W. Bush’s mission to confine stem-cell research to a paltry few and inadequate lines despite the fact that Reeve’s legislation had nothing to do with that issue. That’s worth repeating: The thespian’s bill had nothing to do with stem-cell research. [Secondary emphasis added.]

You can see for yourself: The text of S. 1010 is online for all the world to see.

And companion legislation passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 418 to zero just last week.

The Senate's "hold" procedure works both ways, to the advantage of both political parties, and as such I'm loath to speak against it, but this is outrageous.

Time to call your senators. Get the hold lifted. Pass S. 1010. The call is free: 1 (800) 839-5276.

Oh, and by the way, Dana Reeve, the actor and director's widow, supports John Kerry.

(End note: Yeah, that Ted Kennedy, ho yeah, what a dinosaur. The kind of dinosaur I'd like on my side.)

(First seen at Suburban Guerrilla. She gets up early.)

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