Week of October 6, 2003

» Please view the "Weekly Whip" outlining the Floor Schedule for the week of October 6, 2003.

**Please note that it is unclear if any of the conference reports listed on the Weekly Whip, other than H.R. 1474 - Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act Conference Report, will actually come to the Floor.

Floor items that you may want to do press on:

  • Bishop (NY) Motion to Instruct Conferees on H.R. 1 - Prescription Drugs
  • Flake Motion to Instruct Conferees on H.R. 1 - Prescription Drugs

Bishop (NY) Motion to Instruct Conferees on H.R. 1 - Prescription Drugs

Next week the House will vote on a motion offered by Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) that will instruct conferees on H.R. 1 to strike House-passed provisions that would establish tax-free savings accounts for medical expenses (HSSAs and HSAs) - which are a $174 billion tax cut masquerading as help to the uninsured.  These funds could be better used to close the enormous coverage gap for prescription drugs in the House GOP bill.

Attached is information to help you do press regarding the Bishop Motion to Instruct:

  • Talking Points from the Office of the Democratic Leader

Flake Motion to Instruct Conferees on H.R. 1 - Prescription Drugs

The Flake (R-AZ) motion instructs conferees to retain the House bill's policy to "means test" the protection against high drug costs by tying the level at which the benefits start to income.  Thus, seniors who earn more than $60,000 a year ($120,000 for couples) will not receive stop-loss protection until they have spent considerably more on prescription drugs than other beneficiaries.

Further, the Flake motion to instruct is written in a sufficiently vague manner so that it could be interpreted to mean that income thresholds would be imposed on other parts of Medicare.  This strikes at the heart of the social insurance nature of Medicare - where everyone pays in and everyone receives the same benefits.

Attached is information to help you do press regarding the Flake Motion to Instruct:

  • Talking points provided by the Democratic Staff of the Energy & Commerce and Ways & Means Committees

In light of President Bush's appearances between fundraisers to talk about the economy and recent pronouncements by Congressional Republicans that they are going to focus like "laser beams" on creating jobs, it may be helpful to look back at what they said the last time they focused on the economy and job creation - and what resulted.  Please see the attached document, The Credibility Gap: GOP Tax Cuts and Jobs, for a compilation of GOP quotes on their tax cut plans and job creation.

» View Attachments Bundled Together in a PDF File