Key Legislative Issues
Prescription Drug coverage
Senator Snowe co-authored the bipartisan Seniors Prescription Insurance Coverage Equity (SPICE) Act with Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon. The SPICE plan will provide prescription drug benefits for all Medicare beneficiaries, based on the Federal Employees Health Benefits plan used by all Members of Congress. An independent SPICE Board will establish a model plan, and a cap on out-of-pocket spending for prescription drug expenses, so beneficiaries can pick the plan that best reflects their needs.
The E-Rate to wire schools to the Internet
Senator Snowe co-authored the provision known as the "E-Rate" with Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia. This program, which ensures schools and libraries affordable access to high-tech telecommunication technology that will be needed in six out of every ten jobs in the next century, has wired more than one million classrooms to the Internet since 1997.
Student Loan funding
Senator Snowe led the fight to save federal student loan funding in 1996, introducing a successful bipartisan amendment that restored $9.4 billion in funding during efforts to balance the budget. This investment in student loans will ensure higher salaries, better jobs, and a brighter future for countless American students.
Protecting historic lighthouses
As author of the "Maine Lights" law, Senator Snowe helped conserve 35 Maine historic lighthouses in a program recognized as a national model for lighthouse conservation.
Health insurance deductibility for small businesses
Senator Snowe joined Senate Small Business Chairman Christopher Bond of Missouri on legislation to permit full deductibility of health insurance costs for the self-employed, correcting a significant inequity in law.
Welfare Reform Safety Net
Senator Snowe worked to develop a compromise that assured passage of welfare reform legislation in 1995, including large increases in federal child care funding, increased enforcement of child support, and a strong continued role for states in providing a "safety net" for the least fortunate.
Campaign Finance Reform
A longtime advocate of reforming campaign finance laws, Senator Snowe joined Senator James Jeffords of Vermont in authoring the provision that for the first time secured majority Senate support for the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform legislation.
Senator Snowe authored the Equity in Prescription Insurance and Contraceptive Coverage Act, a bill to prevent unintended pregnancies by providing insurance coverage of prescription contraceptives. During the Senate impeachment trial of the President in 1999, Senator Snowe's efforts precipitated an historic bipartisan caucus of Senators to establish procedures for consideration of the Articles that helped build public confidence in the Senate's deliberations.
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