Despite yesterday's senate vote not to consider The Advancing American Priorities Act at this time - which included The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act , the bill will come up again sometime soon. The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act is not "dead" nor was it "defeated". While Republicans except for Senators Warner, Coleman and Smith continued their obstructionist ways and chose not to move forward on yesterday's package of bills, The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act actually has garnered broad bipartisan support. Yet its lead Republican sponsor - Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine - yesterday voted against this package of non controversial bills. I have begun the process of requesting statements from all senators whom voted NAY and I will share them with you in a future column.
Meanwhile, click on this link to see how your state senators voted. http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm... Then call them with your thanks, or let them know their vote was unacceptable!
But there is good news! The inclusion of The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act in this package generated unprecedented coverage by major press agencies resulting in even more attention and awareness of the need for its critical initiatives for mothers, infants and families. We have been deluged with requests for information about the bill, emailed and faxed hundreds of copies taking full advantage of this current national platform to solidify ever wider, bipartisan support for this "no brainer" bill.
We are thankful to Senator Robert Menendez and Senator Harry Reid for including this bill in The Advancing American's Priorities Act and their determination to end the public health crisis of untreated maternal depression. We applaud their efforts and that of every senator who voted to end needless suffering. The vote was very close. The current national spotlight also refocuses attention on legislative obstructionists responsible not only for suspension of the bill's progress, but for the lowest Congressional rating in history.