Ted Kennedy returned to the floor of the Senate today for the 4:00 PM vote on Medicare. Kennedy was accompanied by members of his family, John Kerry and Barack Obama. He received a standing ovation as he “walked through a wall of applause,” to “cast a dramatic, decisive vote on long-stalled Medicare legislation.”
“Aye,” the 76-year-old Kennedy said in a loud voice, smiling broadly and making a thumbs-up gesture as he registered his vote.
Spectators in the galleries that overhang the chamber burst into cheers — a violation of decorum that drew no complaints.
“It’s great to be back. I love this place,” he said after his brief visit.
Watch the video here:
Kennedy issued the following statement today on the Medicare vote:
“I return to the Senate today to keep a promise to our senior citizens — and that’s to protect Medicare. Win, lose or draw, I wanted to be here. I wasn’t going to take the chance that my vote could make the difference. Medicare should not be a partisan issue. Illness and age know no party boundaries. The 44 million Americans who rely on Medicare to meet their health care needs are both Democrats and Republicans. Like all Americans, they have worked hard all their lives. They’ve raised their families. They’ve built our towns and cities and farmed the land. They’ve served in our military.”
“We owe them so much for the part they have played in making America a great country. So today I proudly cast this important vote for them — a vote to keep the Medicare program strong and effective for the future.”
What a heartwarming sight to see Uncle Ted back on the Senate floor. Kennedy cast the “60th Vote To Break GOP Filibuster On Medicare.”