On his weekly Wednesday call with reporters, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown said he just did something he’s never done before, voting to override President Barack Obama.
The bill Sen. Brown voted to override, called the 911 Victims Lawsuit Bill, also received votes from 97 of his colleges versus only one who voted to not override, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. The controversial bill would allow the families of Sept. 11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia for allegedly backing the terrorists who carried out the attacks. Reports said Defense Secretary Ash Carter said an override would be devastating to the U.S. military.
“I’ve never done this before,” he said from Washington, even as the Senate was still voting on it. He remarked that he though it was a matter of families, many of whom he’s seen up close, seeking justice. He told reporters on the call that these families deserve the opportunity to sue. A little chagrined to have to override the president’s bill, he said families, many of whom he’s seen up close, deserve the opportunity to pursue justice
The Senate took up the matter of whether to pass a continuing resolution [CR] to fund the federal government through December 9. Sen. Brown said today what he’s said on previous calls, that he doesn’t think shutting down the government is an option, and that “voices of reason will prevail.” Among his concerns is for water items including dredging the Cuyahoga River and delivering help to Flint, Michigan, as it strives to recover from lead-based water that has been a focal point of the nation throughout this year.
What could have become a stumbling block appears now to be headed for approval, as congressional leaders have been reported to have broken a stalemate over money to address the water crisis in Flint. Aides to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and the chamber’s Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., confirmed the accord early Wednesday. The agreement allegedly will provide $170 million to help Flint and other cities with water emergencies as an amendment to a separate water projects bill.
Sen. Brown, whose will run for a third term in 2018, said he’s leaning to support the CR. By mid-afternoon, the bill was advanced by a vote of 77-21.
Asked about the first presidential debate Monday night between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Sen. Brown said it showed Mrs. Clinton, who he’s called probably the most qualified person ever to become president, the clear winner. He cited Donald trump’s bravado toward women since debate as abhorrent. He called Mr. Trump’s comments about women’s weight and looks to be what boys did in high school. “It’s absolutely unforgivable” about what Trump says.
Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a professor of communication and director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, told the AP that Donald Trump’s frequent interruptions of Clinton conformed with research concluding that men in group meetings interrupt women more than vice versa. In the course of the debate, Trump interrupted Clinton 51 times, while she interrupted him 17 times.
In related news, The Arizona Republic News also did something today it’s never done before. The conservative newspaper, much like the Cincinnati Enquirer did recently, dared to endorse a Democrat for president, Hillary Rodham Clinton. “Hillary Clinton is the only choice to move America forward,” it said. Since The Arizona Republic began publication in 1890, it has never endorsed a Democrat over a Republican for president. The paper followed arguments other publications have made about the Donald: he’s not a conservative and he is not qualified.”
“The challenges the United States faces domestically and internationally demand a steady hand, a cool head and the ability to think carefully before acting. Hillary Clinton understands this. Donald Trump does not. Clinton has the temperament and experience to be president. Donald Trump does not.”
There’s a connection between the conservative Cincinnati Enquirer and Arizona Republic, which is experiencing subscription cancellations in the wake of its endorsement of Hillary Clinton, both owned by Gannett, which also owns USA TODAY.
Schumer To Ohio To Campaign For Strickland
Ted Strickland may be trailing Ohio’s second and junior senator Rob Portman, but Brown says all is not lost, citing an upcoming trip to the Buckeye State by Senate Minority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer of New York. Brown said Sen. Schumer, who stands a good chance of being Majority Leader come January, wouldn’t be coming to Ohio unless he thought former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland had a chance. Brown credited Strickland’s slide in the polls, which he once led, to massive negative ad spending by the Koch brothers, the gun lobby and Wall Street. “Who is that money coming from and why are they spending it,” he asked reporters to ask themselves.
Brown Seeks To Make Medicare More Affordable, Easier For Seniors, Disabled To Use
Sen. Brown spoke about new legislation he cosponsored that would help make Medicare more affordable and make it easier for seniors and Ohioans with disabilities to use.
“Medicare is health coverage that our seniors have earned over a lifetime of hard work. They should not be saddled with unaffordable premiums after paying into the system for decades, and they should not face a lifetime of additional fees for simple enrollment mistakes,” said Brown in prepared remarks. He added, “Medicare remains a lifeline for millions of Americans, but it is time to update Medicare to ensure that the next generation of Americans entering the program have a secure retirement.”
The Medicare Affordability and Enrollment Act also:
· Expands the number of low-income beneficiaries eligible for financial assistance for premiums and out-of-pocket costs;
· Reduces cost-sharing for low-income beneficiaries who are not eligible for any assistance today;
· Modernizes the Medicare enrollment system to facilitate easier enrollment, begin coverage earlier and reduce arbitrary late- enrollment penalties that today are paid in perpetuity; and
· Increases and extends permanent funding for outreach and education activities that help Ohioans navigate the program.