Action Alert
Take Action SCHIP Update!
Update:  On January 29, 2009, the Senate voted and passed H.R. 2 by a vote of 66 to 32 (Roll Call 31).  Two pro-life amendments were offered during the debate--the Martinez Amendment to reinstate Mexico City Policy (Roll Call 19) and the Hatch Amendment to give personhood status and SCHIP coverage to the unborn child (Roll Call 26)--but both were rejected.  Sen. Orrin Hatch's (R-UT) exchange with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) regarding his pro-life amendment was particularly good and can be found here.  Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell offered a substitute, called the "Kids First Act," which would have restored the mandatory five-year waiting period for legal immigrants to become eligible to receive SCHIP benefits.  Unfortunately, his substitute failed by a vote of 32 to 65 (Roll Call 18). 
January 26, 2009

The Senate has began consideration of the SCHIP reauthorization (H.R. 2).   We anticipate debate on all of the problem areas listed in our previous alert and we understand that Republicans will be allowed to offer amendments and alternatives.
  • Two important amendments will be offered:
  1. Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) will offer an amendment to reinstate the long-standing Mexico City policy which President Obama rescinded via Executive Order last week.  Reinstating this pro-life policy is important because it requires NGOs (non-governmental organizations) to agree as a condition of their receipt of federal funds that they would neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations. The policy has exceptions for abortions done in response to rape, incest or life-threatening conditions. 
  2. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) will offer an amendment to restore the mandatory five-year waiting period for legal immigrants to become eligible to apply for SCHIP benefits.  SCHIP is a program for American children, and U.S. citizens should be given priority for enrollment over immigrants with legal status.  The five-year waiting period was established as part of the welfare reform law signed by President Clinton in 1996. 
  • Let your Senators know that you want them to support the Martinez and Grassley amendments!
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