Coburn chides Reid for not allowing vote on ObamaCare amendment

“To not allow a vote on an amendment is cowardly because it says I don’t want to vote on that issue,” Coburn said on the Senate floor Thursday. “I’m disappointed that the Majority Leader doesn’t want to have a vote on something 92 percent of the people agree with.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Vitter is blocking other senators from calling up their amendments to an energy efficiency bill that the Senate began considering Wednesday. He said he would continue to block progress on the bipartisan bill until he is guaranteed a vote on his measure either as an amendment or as a stand-alone bill sometime before Oct. 1.

Coburn said the public doesn’t want congressional staff and executive branch workers to be treated differently than the rest of the country when it comes to ObamaCare, also known as the Affordable Care Act.

Vitter said his amendment would prevent members of Congress from exempting any of their staff from entering the ObamaCare health exchanges, require all executive branch appointees to participate in the healthcare exchanges and end subsidies for congressional staff to pay for insurance.

Coburn criticized Reid for creating the “logjam of lack of minority rights.”

“Regular order before you got here was you could offer any amendment on any bill before moving forward,” Coburn said. “There should not be an issue that we cannot debate and have a vote on in this body.”

Reid has said Vitter’s amendment is unrelated to the bipartisan Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, S. 1392, which contains measures to boost building codes, train workers in energy efficient building technologies, help manufacturers become more efficient and bolster conservation efforts at federal agencies, among other provisions.