Senate Democrats

Nineteen Senate Republicans Flip-Flop On Critical Priorities To Protect President Bush

Washington, DC—Rodell Mollineau, Communications Director for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, made the following statement today after 19 Republican Senators voted against the Labor-HHS-Education conference report they voted for a few weeks ago:

“I thought the only sheep and chickens we would find in Congress this week would be in the Farm Bill, not the 19 Senate Republicans who flip-flopped today to protect the President’s veto threat – voting against the same Labor-HHS bill they voted for a few weeks ago. 

“Senate Republicans have chosen to defend a failed President and his reckless veto threat at the expense of research for diseases like Alzheimer’s, diabetes and cancer; over job training and technical-education programs to make America more competitive in the global economy; over special-education and Head Start programs for low-income students; and over aid for poor children and families.”


Senate Republicans Carry President’s Water at Expense of America’s Priorities

On October 23, 29 Senate Republicans voted in favor of the Labor-HHS appropriations bill. But barely more than two weeks later, 19 of those same Senate Republicans flip-flopped and opposed the conference report, choosing to carry water for President Bush’s reckless veto threats and putting funding for vital education, health and labor programs at risk.


29 Senate Republicans Voted to Pass the Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill. On October 23, 29 Republicans joined with Democrats in passing the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill. The bill appropriated $605.5 billion, in fiscal 2008 for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education and related agencies. It would provide $63 billion for the Education Department, including $14.5 billion for Pell Grants; $14.9 billion for the Labor Department, including $3.6 billion for training and employment services; and $479.1 billion for HHS, including $29.9 billion for the National Institutes of Health and $401.4 billion, most of which is mandatory spending, for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The bill passed on a vote of 75-19. [Senate Vote #391, HR 3043, 10/23/07; CQ Floor Votes]

Senator McConnell Touted Passage of Labor-HHS-Education Bill Which Provided Millions for Kentucky’s Universities. “U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday that the Senate has approved his requests of $15.2 million in funding for several Kentucky universities. The money is included in the FY’08 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which now goes to the House/Senate Conference Committee for consideration. ‘Kentucky universities are some of the leading research institutions in the country,’ McConnell said. ‘This funding will help our universities address pressing health issues, like cardiovascular disease and access to care in rural areas. These resources will also strengthen the academic programs offered by our universities; helping to ensure that Kentucky’s best and brightest can get a world class education here in the Commonwealth.’” [Senator McConnell Press Release, 10/23/07]

Senator Alexander Touted His Support for Labor-HHS Bill Appropriations Bill. “This legislation provides a needed boost to programs across Tennessee and that means better hospitals, schools, healthcare research and more job opportunities,” Alexander said. “In addition, this bill is a win for our nation’s public schools, with increased funding for many of the programs geared toward helping our nation keep its competitive edge.” [Sen. Alexander Press Release, 10/24/07]

Senator Roberts Touted Labor-HHS Bill Because It Provided Funding for Childhood Health Programs and Funding for Research at Kansas Universities. “As childhood health is a growing problem in our nation, these funds are important to ensure proper health education and nutrition is taught to our children,” Senator Roberts said. “Children need to be healthy in order to learn, and I know these funds will help make that possible.” Roberts added, “Increased federal and state funding along with the cooperation of area research facilities – including this center at KU, will allow Kansas to contribute to our nation’s health preparedness.” [Senator Roberts Press Release, 10/24/07]

Senator Bennett Said Programs in Labor-HHS Bill Take a Significant Step Towards Addressing Literacy and Improving Health Care.  “Improving health care and education rank high on the list of priorities for Utahns,” said Bennett, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “The programs funded in this bill take a significant step toward addressing illiteracy, improving access to health care in rural areas, and increasing the number of health care professionals to meet our growing medical needs.”  [Sen. Bennett Press Release, 10/23/07]

Senator Bond Supported Labor-HHS Bill That Included $7 Million for Missouri Projects. “U.S. Senator Kit Bond today announced that he secured $7 million in federal funds for Missouri projects in the Senate’s Labor-HHS-Education spending bill. ‘These funds provide critical support and outreach to Missouri families,’ said Bond. ‘From Parents as Teachers to the Crisis Nursery of the Ozarks, these projects will bring much needed help to Missouri communities.’ [Sen. Bond Press Release, 10/24/07]

Senator Domenici Supported Labor-HHS Bill That Included Funding for New Mexico Character Counts Program.  “U.S. Senator Pete Domenici today joined the full Senate in passing a broad spending measure which includes $50,000 to support the Character Counts summer leadership camp hosted by New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell.  The Senate on Tuesday approved the FY2008 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Bill, which includes Domenici’s request to support the leadership camp as well as level funding for a national federal character education program.” [Senator Domenici Press Release, 10/23/07]

Senator Crapo Praised Labor-HHS Bill That Funded Idaho’s Education and Health  Care Institutions. “I applaud the Senate’s recognition of Idaho’s many cutting-edge education and health care institutions.  By passing this bill, we are helping to build on the outstanding work of Idaho’s universities, hospitals, and education programs that directly add value to the lives of all Idahoans and Americans.  I am pleased to be a champion of these initiatives.”  [Sen. Crapo Press Release, 10/24/07]

Senator Hatch Touted His Amendment to the Labor-HHS Bill Directing Department of Energy to Study Public Schools in States With High Proportion of Federal Lands.  “The U.S. Senate today accepted an amendment to the H.R. 3043 appropriations bill, sponsored by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), which directs the Department of Education to conduct a study on the impact on public schools in states with high proportion of federal land, such as Utah, compared to states with a small proportion of federal land.” [Senator Hatch Press Release, 10/23/07]

Senator Shelby Touted $11 Million for University of Alabama in Labor-HHS Bill. “U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, today announced Senate approval of important funding for a University of Alabama project included in the Fiscal Year 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Bill…. The University will construct a 70,000 square foot interdisciplinary health services building that will house a variety of health care disciplines to educate entry-level professionals who will provide medical services in rural Alabama. ‘These educators will be housed in proximity to one another, enabling them to share research and ideas on the important task of bringing quality health care to our citizens living in rural areas,’ said Shelby.  ‘Many of Alabama’s children and elderly live in our rural communities and need local access to well-trained medical services.  Particularly in the event of an emergency, it is important that health care is local and expedient.’” [Senator Shelby Press Release, 10/23/07]

Senator Sununu Sent Out Separate Release Touting Funding for New Hampshire Projects in Labor-HHS Bill. Senator Sununu’s office sent out 3 separate press releases announcing funding in the Labor-HHS bill for New Hampshire programs. Sununu touted $550,000 for the Community College System of New Hampshire, $450,000 for CDC Management at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital and $700,000 for St. Joseph Hospital. [Senator Sununu Press Releases, 10/24/07; 10/24/07; 10/24/07

Senator Warner Ardently Supported Labor-HHS Bill, Saying it Funded Many of Our Nation’s Most Vital Domestic Programs. “Many of our nation’s most vital domestic programs related to medical research and healthcare, unemployment services, and education are funded in this bill,” Warner said.  “This funding is critical for communities and organizations in Virginia who need federal assistance to continue to provide and expand quality healthcare, work force training, and educational services at the local level,” Warner added. [Sen. Warner Press Release, 10/25/07]

Senator Dole Commended Passage of Labor-HHS Bill Which Included $100,000 for North Carolina Projects. “U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole applauded this week’s Senate passage of the fiscal year 2008 Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, which included $100,000 for the Eastern North Carolina Metabolic Institute at East Carolina University.” [Sen. Dole Press Release, 10/25/07]


The Following Republican Senators Switched their Votes and Opposed the Labor-HHS Appropriations Conference Report, After Supporting it on Passage. [Senate Vote #405, HR 3043, 11/7/07] 

Senator Alexander
Senator Bennett
Senator Bond
Senator Chambliss
Senator Crapo
Senator Dole
Senator Domenici
Senator Grassley
Senator Hagel
Senator Hatch
Senator Hutchison
Senator Isakson
Senator Lott
Senator McConnell
Senator Murkowski
Senator Roberts
Senator Shelby
Senator Sununu
Senator Warner