Saturday, December 10, 2005

Someone's ox was gored, anyway

Intuitively, you wouldn't think both U.S. senators from a state where about one-fifth of the residents are eligible for Medicaid benefits would vote against a measure that would reduce their state's Medicaid costs in the wake of a hurricane that pushed thousands of more Medicaid recipients into the state.

But that's just what Alabama's Republican senators, Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby, did last month, citing a need to slash our domestic spending. (I'd point out here that recent GOP-backed tax cuts would more than negate the savings from those spending cuts, but that would be rude.)

U.S. Rep. Artur Davis, D-Birmingham, has led a charge from across Capitol Hill to get the pair to change their minds, but he's had mixed results at best. Shelby said he "appreciate[d] Congressman Davis' interest," but Sessions went a step further, saying he "shared Davis' interest." Sessions still didn't explain his vote against last month's measure, though.

Nonetheless, the dispute appears to have fueled some bipartisan cooperation in Alabama's congressional delegation. Davis' proposal to reduce the Medicaid cuts, which didn't go anywhere, was co-sponsored by U.S. Reps. Spencer Bachus, R-Vestavia Hills; Jo Bonner, R-Mobile; and Mike Rogers, R-Saks.

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