Senate Considers Organ Donor Bill

Posted October 2, 2008 at 11:48am

Before leaving town this week, Senate Democrats are trying to pass several of the bills that Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has blocked.

The Senate passed a handful of noncontroversial bills by unanimous consent Thursday. Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) also sought to swiftly bring up and then pass a bill authored by the late Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio), who died from a brain aneurism in August, that would increase funding for the federal organ donor program.

Dorgan complained that the funding has remained at $2 million since 1984, while the list of people waiting for organ transplants has grown.

Coburn has objected to several bills that Senate Democrats want to pass quickly because he argues that they add to the expense and size of government.

Dorgan said Coburn is reviewing the bill and hoped that they will be able to reach an agreement by the end of the day.

A Coburn spokesman said the Senator is not blocking the organ donor bill, as Dorgan suggested. The spokesman said Democrats are trying to pin every GOP hold on Coburn, but several Republicans have raised concerns that Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) regularly attempts to pass legislation without having it pass through committee.