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Today, Senate Republicans filibustered the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act, also referred to as the Not My Boss’s Business Act.  This bill from Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Mark Udall (D-CO), would restore the contraceptive coverage requirement guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act put in jeopardy by the recent misguided Supreme Court decision in Hobby Lobby, and protect coverage of other health services from employers who want to impose their beliefs on their employees by denying benefits. The Not My Boss’s Business Act was cosponsored by 46 Senators and endorsed by over 120 organizations.  Senator Murray spoke on the Senate floor prior to the vote reiterating the necessity of the bill and urging her Republican colleagues to allow the Senate to debate this critical issue. The vote failed 56-43, with Senator Reid changing his vote for procedural reasons and one Senate Democrat absent, leaving the bill just 2 votes short of the required 60 votes to proceed.  

Key excerpts from Senator Murray’s remarks:

“In just a few minutes, we will vote to proceed to debate on the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act--or, as we like to call it—the Not My Boss’s Business Act—straightforward and simple legislation that would ensure that no CEO or corporation can come between you and your guaranteed access to health care – period. Women across the country are watching.”

“Affordability of care equals access to care. And we know that millions of Americans lacked health insurance prior to the Affordable Care Act, because they couldn’t afford it – not because it wasn’t available to them to purchase. Contraception should not be an ‘a la carte’ option in women’s health care – because it is an essential part. We don’t single out other benefits for employees, why should we single out a benefit that is so important to women in this country?

“Women should call the shots when it comes to their health care decisions. Not their boss. Not their government. Not anyone else. Period. But we are here today because five men on the Supreme Court disagree. Five men on the Supreme Court rolled back the clock on women across America. We are here today because we simply cannot allow that to stand.”

“I’d like to remind them that women across the country are watching—and I think they will be very interested in seeing who is on their side.”

Full text of Senator Murray’s remarks prior to the vote:

“M. President—In just a few minutes, we will vote to proceed to debate on the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act--or, as we like to call it—the Not My Boss’s Business Act—straightforward and simple legislation that would ensure that no CEO or corporation can come between you and your guaranteed access to health care – period.

“Women across the country are watching.

“Affordability of care equals access to care.

“And we know that millions of Americans lacked health insurance prior to the Affordable Care Act, because they couldn’t afford it – not because it wasn’t available to them to purchase.

“Contraception should not be an ‘a la carte’ option in women’s health care – because it is an essential part.

“We don’t single out other benefits for employees, why should we single out a benefit that is so important to women in this country?

“Now is the time for my colleagues to answer a few basic questions--

“First—who should be in charge of a woman’s health care decisions?

“Should it be a woman—making those decisions with her partner, her doctor, and her faith?

“Or should it be her boss—making those decisions for her based on his own religious beliefs?

“To me and to the vast majority of people across the country—the answer to these questions is obvious.

“Women should call the shots when it comes to their health care decisions.

“Not their boss. Not their government. Not anyone else. Period.

“But M. President—we are here today because five men on the Supreme Court disagree.

“Five men on the Supreme Court rolled back the clock on women across America—

“We are here today because we simply cannot allow that to stand.

“M. President – in the aftermath of this decision, women across America turned to Congress and demanded we fix this.

“That is why I worked with my partner, the senior Senator from Colorado, to introduce this bill. And we have 46 co-sponsors in the Senate, and over 120 organizations have voiced their support.

“And now, I sincerely hope our Republican colleagues will join us and allow us to proceed to debate on this important bill.

“M. President—I’d like to remind them that women across the country are watching—and I think they will be very interested in seeing who is on their side.

“Thank you M. President, I yield the floor.”