Democratic Congressional hopefuls Greg Warren (4th District) and Benjamin Lodmell (1st District) are making their opponent's vote against S-CHIP reauthorization a campaign issue. Alabama Republicans are wrong on this issue and voters here know it.
Warren, whose opponent is CAFTA tie breaker Robert Aderholt, issued this statement on Tuesday:
Is Alabama's current Representative from the Fourth Congressional District actually representing his district or is he representing President Bush? Yet again your current Representative has voted against helping his own constituents to fall in line with the Bush Administration. The latest being his vote in opposition of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) reauthorization act. This bill would have provided an additional $35 billion for SCHIP -- $30 billion more than Bush wanted. This legislation would reauthorize coverage for 6.6 million children and extend the program to 4 million more. This program has significantly affected the health status of children from low-income families. As before with his deciding vote for CAFTA (which has cost his district numerous jobs) your current Representative has again come up with his excuses for turning his back on the needs of his constituents to be President Bush's "rubber stamp". Your current Representative had rather tell you what you need and what is good for you instead of the job that he was elected to do which is represent you and your needs.
As noted, Aderholt has exhibited a paternal attitude toward his constituents, first assuring them that his CAFTA vote would protect textile jobs in the district (wrong!) and more recently through absolute opposition to a tribal casino, with no consideration to any positive economic impact it might have on the area.
Down in South Alabama, Benjamin Lodmell is taking on Jo Bonner. From a statement issued by the Lodmell campaign on Monday:
“That must be what they mean by compassionate conservatism,” Lodmell said when learning of the President’s veto.
Even if Congress eventually gives the President what he wants, it won’t be enough to even maintain the ‘ALL KIDS’ version of S-CHIP that has been operating in Alabama for ten years, according to estimates by Department of Health officials.
“That’s heartless and intolerable.”
When asked about his vote against S-CHIP, one member of Alabama’s Congressional delegation reportedly said he “didn’t join the Republican Party to raise taxes on the American people.” Point well taken, Lodmell said, “Especially when you consider how a failed Republican ideology has destroyed this country’s sense of fiscal responsibility by replacing years of federal surpluses with staggering deficits and reducing taxes for the rich while trying to fight two wars at the same time.
“It’s incredible that those who managed to increase our national debt by about $3.5 trillion since Jo Bonner and President Bush first took office can now say ‘no’ when asked to provide healthcare for children who through no fault of their own are uninsured.
“The difference between what the bill calls for and what President Bush opposes is less than 4% of the $190 billion the Pentagon asked for in fiscal 2008 to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s also a drop in the bucket compared with what Congress has been secretly sneaking into its annual appropriations bills. Which, by the way, may be the reason why Jo Bonner refused to discuss his ‘earmark’ activity with a journalist during a recent interview.
“No matter how they try to explain it away, Bonner’s vote and the President’s veto against children’s healthcare simply boggle the mind. Regardless of their new-found fiscal sanctimony, trying to make political points at the expense of poor children is just plain unconscionable.”
Bonner, Aderholt and other Republicans of their ilk are in Bush's pocket on this and everything else. They have happily voted to spend, spend, spend on Bush's foreign entanglements, but now they draw a line over a small spending increase for children's health care -- which won't increase the deficit by one dime. How can these men sleep at night?
It's great to see Alabama Democrats fighting back on this issue. Please reward them with some much needed financial help: Here is Benjamin Lodmell's ActBlue page and here is Greg Warren's ActBlue page.