Tags: US | Health | Care | Kennedy

Senate 'Liberal Lion' Remembered in Health Debate

Thursday, 24 Dec 2009 09:40 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

The memory of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy loomed over the Senate Thursday when his weary colleagues moved his life's work, health care reform, to the brink of reality.

"He's having a Merry Christmas in Heaven," said an emotional Sen. Paul Kirk, D-Mass., who was appointed to fill the seat after Kennedy succumbed to brain cancer in August. Kirk said it was an honor to essentially cast Kennedy's vote as majority Democrats passed the Senate's version of a bill that would extend insurance to 30 million Americans.

"It's the proudest public moment of my life," Kirk said.

Special: Get Sarah Palin’s New Book – Incredible FREE Offer -- Click Here Now.  

The sunrise vote was a dramatic end to a tortured debate in which Majority Leader Harry Reid struggled and ultimately succeeded to line up 60 votes to overcome a Republican filibuster.

The pre-dawn procession to the Senate had the feel of a bittersweet, Christmas Eve memorial, with Kennedy's close friends and former staffers nearly filling the galleries, his name on the tips of everyone's tongues.

"With Sen. Ted Kennedy's booming voice in our ears, with his passion in our hearts, we say, as he said: The work goes on, the cause endures," said Reid, D-Nev.

Vice President Joe Biden's motorcade lit up a nearly-empty Pennsylvania Avenue at 6:30 a.m. EST, Capitol Police bringing the mini-traffic jam near the Senate parking spaces to a halt as it passed. People in dark suits climbed the hill and lined up at the security entrances.

Michigan Democrat John Dingell, at 83 the longest-serving member of the House, used two crutches to navigate the ice outside the Senate chamber as he made his way inside with his wife, Debbie, at his side.

The galleries quickly filled with the guests of senators, as the lawmakers themselves trickled into the chamber and took their seats under the gaze of Kennedy's widow, Vicki.

As the vote progressed, she grew tearful.

"Mr. President, this is for my friend, Ted Kennedy," intoned Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., the longest-serving member of Congress in history, as he cast his vote for the bill.

Kennedy died of brain cancer last August.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

NY Governor Hopefuls Debate Economy, Leadership

Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 22:20 PM

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his Republican challenger traded insults and clashed over the economy and corruption duri . . .

Experts: GOP Digital Talent Gap Needs to Close by 2016

Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 22:05 PM

The GOP has a massive digital talent gap going into the 2016 presidential race, experts say.
While President Bara . . .

Texas' Davis Says She Would Welcome Obama Visit

Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 21:10 PM

Democrat Wendy Davis said Wednesday she would welcome President Barack Obama campaigning for her in Texas after largely  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved