WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Al Franken took to the Senate floor today to make his final case for the Senate health-care bill: It may not be perfect, Franken said, but he is “proud” to be voting for it.
“I said at the beginning of this debate that there would be amendments to make it an even better bill and that there would be amendments that would make it less to my liking and, therefore, a less good bill, from my point of view. But I also said I would only support a bill if it makes quality health care available to tens of thousands of additional Minnesotans and tens of millions of more Americans.
“We’ve all compromised on many fronts, but the bill we have before us is real reform and deserves our support.”
Franken noted the contentious atmosphere in the Senate, part of which he stands accused of contributing to.
“There have been accusations flying back and forth. Umbrage has been taken. This place has become an umbrage factory. I even took umbrage once, and I feel bad about that,” he said.
Some of the umbrage taken on the Republican side of the aisle came when Franken objected to giving Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman a few extra moments to finish a floor speech. Democratic leaders had instructed presiding officers to not allow time extensions — Franken was presiding at the time and complied with that request. That, in turn, set off Arizona Republican John McCain, who decried the move as evidence of the Senate’s alarming decline in comity.
That speed-’em-up request must not be in effect any more — Franken ran out of time before completing his remarks and asked for an additional two minutes. When no senator objected, that request was granted.