Washington, DC—Democratic Senators Debbie Stabenow and Robert Menendez joined health advocates today at a press conference to discuss dozens of bipartisan and noncontroversial bills that have repeatedly been blocked by Republicans in the Senate. Those bills include the MOTHERS ACT, legislation that provides support for postpartum depression, the Stroke Treatment and Ongoing Prevention Act, that advances medical research in this field, and the ALS Registry, legislation that collects and examines data from thousands of people with Lou Gehrig’s Disease. One or two Republican Senators have continued to hold up this important legislation, but Democrats are not going to allow the obstruction of a few to block the will of Congress and the American people.
"What we are experiencing in the U.S. Senate is an unprecedented attempt by the Republican party to block the Democratic majority from doing the work of the American people," said Stabenow. "The Advancing America’s Priorities Act is a bipartisan push to break through the Republican roadblock and pass these non-controversial bills, many of which received overwhelming bipartisan support in the House. The American people have waited long enough."
Said Menendez: “Most people wouldn’t think twice about getting behind the programs in this bill – programs to help those in our nation who are ill, programs to protect our children from predators, programs to promote civil rights. In fact, most Members of the House of Representatives – Democrats and Republicans alike – didn’t think twice about getting behind these programs, voting ‘yes’ on them unanimously or as close to unanimously as it gets. But here in the Senate, where the rules are different, these investments in our country – these positive, forward-looking, non-controversial investments – have been completely frozen by one or two of our colleagues. We think it’s time to get these things done. We think it’s time to move on these bills for the health and protection of the American people – and that’s the purpose of the Advancing America’s Priorities Act.”
“Every day, thousands of women silently need help to cope with postpartum depression,” Dr. Albert Strunk, the Vice President of Fellowship Activities at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said. “The Mothers Act would bring postpartum depression out of the shadows, so new moms can get the care they need. What could be simpler than that? The House passed this noncontroversial bill with nearly unanimous bipartisan support. We applaud the Senate Leadership for moving this legislation.”
Said Paul Berger, a stroke survivor: “Nobody thinks that a stroke can happen to them — until it does. Even though my stroke occurred two decades ago, I am still reminded on a regular basis about the need for the STOP Stroke Act. Its inclusion in The Advancing America’s Priorities Act is the best opportunity for the Senate to pass the STOP Stroke Act in the short amount of time remaining in this Congress.”
“For more than two years, The ALS Association and people with ALS across the country have been waiting for Congress to pass the ALS Registry Act,” Gwen Brooks, a Lou Gehrig’s disease patient, said. The House of Representatives passed the bill by a vote of 411-3. More than 77 Senators have signed on as cosponsors. Most importantly, it has the support of patients, doctors, and researchers. But apparently one Senator disagrees and says he has a right to stop it.