Thursday, April 26, 2007

GOP Rep holds House hostage cuz all his constituents kids have health insurance

Right now in Salem at the Capitol, Representative John Lim (R-Gresham) is refusing to vote on The Healthy Kids Plan, which would provide health insurance for all children in Oregon in exchange for an 84 cent per pack tax on cigarettes.

Debate began on the bill at 10:30 this morning and closed after more than three hours--during which the Republicans through every parliamentary procedure they could muster at the bill. After having completely failed to shut the bill down, debate closed and the bill went up for a vote more than an hour ago.

Voting got underway and came to Lim--who is now in a standoff with the rest of the House by refusing to vote. Lim really has no choice, under the House rules he must vote. I would imagine at some point he'll be in the contempt of the House if he doesn't.

Children First For Oregon has been liveblogging the debate and voting today--check it out over at their blog. The latest entry shows how much Tom Butler (R-Ontario) thinks of the House floor--he's decided that its so beneath his respect that he's going to lay down and take a nap, complete with shoes off and earplugs. Your GOP at work, folks.

Lim's excuse for not voting is that he didn't get to participate in the debate. Interestingly, Lim never placed himself in the queue to debate--which he would have done if he wanted to have his say on the bill. He didn't. This is obviously his way to obstruct passage of the bill.

Lim is the representative from Gresham. It must be safe to assume that all of the kids in Gresham have health insurance and Lim is just representing their best interests rather than the interests of the tobacco companies. Cuz there's no way he'd vote against giving kids in Oregon health insurance....