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Queens Chronicle

Let them vote cleanly

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Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013 10:30 am

Dear Editor:

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, along with our own Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, was correct when asking for a straight up or down vote to reopen the government and raise the debt limit.

Buried within the bill recently passed was a $147,000 death benefit to the family of the late New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg. His family is worth over $50 million. How many other amendments were buried in this bill which have nothing to do with reopening the government and raising the debt limit? This is a clear example of why we need means testing for all, including members of Congress who benefit from various government programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Obamacare.

It is an old Washington parlor trick to allow both senators and Congress members to amend basic bills with language that benefits their own special interests. It is horse trading between the leadership and members to obtain their votes for the basic bill they may not support.

If Sens. Reid, Schumer and Gillibrand are all serious about reform in Washington, let them pass future legislation with straight up or down votes, without adding amendments.

Larry Penner
Great Neck, LI

Welcome to the discussion.