With the future of transportation hanging in the balance, the U.S. Senate began debating its two-year, $109 billion authorization bill on Thursday, March 1. And with 200-plus amendments to consider, which one did they take up as their first order of business? Why, one dealing with women’s reproductive rights and the moral conscience of health care providers, of course.
Welcome to today’s world of politics, where nothing, not even the Senate’s so-called bipartisan transportation bill, is spared from partisanship and political agendas.
It’s not surprising that senators would burn the first two hours of debate on a federal transportation bill talking about health care. It’s a divisive topic, after all, and lawmakers are positioning themselves for the presidential election.
The latest sidetrack that has nothing to do with transportation arose from an amendment by Sen. Roy Blunt, R-MO, to allow health care providers to refuse certain coverage or services to a patient based on the provider’s morals.