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Washington, DC - Passing overwhelmingly in a voice vote, the Senate approved the DeMint amendment late last night. The amendment would require a “point of order” calling for 60 votes to pass on any proposed health care legislation that would prevent Americans from keeping their current health care plan.
Passage of the DeMint amendment is a major victory in the fight against socialized medicine and preserving health care choices.
The vote followed on the heels the Johanns amendment, which overwhelmingly passed the Senate in a 67 to 31 vote earlier in the week. The Johanns amendment will ensure a full 60 Senate vote on future cap-and-trade energy tax legislation.
Without the Johanns and DeMint amendments, an attempt could be made to abuse the reconciliation rule to limit future debate on critical issues, such as health care and new taxes on energy, allowing the Senate to pass controversial legislation with just 51 votes rather than the traditional 60.
FreedomWorks played a critical role in the DeMint amendment’s passage. FreedomWorks sent the Senate a Key Vote notice to support this amendment and also launched a national online campaign to connect people from around the country to their Senators. Activists flooded the Senate with emails, faxes and phone calls to support the DeMint amendment and, in so doing, oppose the use of “reconciliation” for health care reform. One of the most effective aspects of the campaign is the comment board FreedomWorks hosts where over 6500 people so far have left comments.
In a letter to the Senate following the vote, FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe commented:
“President Obama was elected promising to protect the ability of Americans to keep their health plans and choose their doctor. This idea resonated so powerfully because our health, and our ability to freely choose how we care for it, are of the ultimate importance. When he said, ‘No government bureaucrat will second-guess decisions about your care,’ the American people noticed.”
“And they noticed your (the Senate) support of this amendment. Your support says you believe health care reform legislation that may alter how we receive care is so important that it deserves robust debate. It says you believe such legislation needs to be good enough to earn the support of the traditional number of senators—60—rather than be pushed through under ‘reconciliation’ rules with narrow partisan support from 51 senators. We agree.”