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Dems Claim GOP Stole Medicare Vote

HeadlineNov 24, 2003

House Democrats are accusing the Republican leadership of stealing a Democratic victory on the controversial Medicare bill by abusing the rules of Congress. At about 6 a.m. on Saturday, the House passed a bill overhauling Medicare by a 220 to 215 vote. The voting began at 3 a.m. when it was announced members would have 15 minutes to record their votes. But when the vote appeared to be won by the Democrats, the Republican leadership refused to close the vote. It went on for a record two hours and 51 minutes giving time for President Bush and Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson to put last minute pressure on reluctant Republicans to approve the package. The Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland said the Republicans “stole” the victory through “undemocratic subversion of the will of the House.” The bill now goes to the Senate where Sen. Edward Kennedy vowed he would lead a fillibuster against the measure.

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