...not helped by the protracted debate over health care

qizi

Senior Member
Chinese
It is true that a lot of the blame does indeed belong on Capitol Hill; the Senate has taken its time mulling over its version of a climate-change bill, not helped by the protracted debate over health care. ——The Economist
Hello, could you tell me what the blue part means here? "not helped"? I don't get the meaning of this sentence.
Thank you.
 
  • timboctou

    Senior Member
    English/Inglés
    In this context it is saying that the senate has taken longer than expected to look at the climate change bill, because of the time taken to debate the issues surrounding health care.
    In other words, the debate about health care has got in the way of/delayed/hindered the discussion of the climate-change bill.
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    In this context it is saying that the senate has taken longer than expected to look at the climate change bill, because of the time taken to debate the issues surrounding health care.
    In other words, the debate about health care has got in the way of/delayed/hindered the discussion of the climate-change bill.
    Sorry, could you explain more to me? I am confused about "not helped by" also. :confused:
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    :( I fail to find the exact meaning of "helped", but just deduced it from the context. May "not hleped" mean "delayed" ? Looking forward to your help. Thanks.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    If we say that A is "not helped by" B, it is a roundabout way of saying that B obstructed A, or delayed A, or did something that made A more difficult.

    Here we have:
    the Senate has taken its time mulling over its version of a climate-change bill, not helped by the protracted debate over health care.

    A is the climate-change bill: B, the protracted debate over health care.
    The writer criticises the Senate for taking so long mulling over the climate-change bill and also suggests that finalising the climate-change bill has been further delayed by the debate over health care. There is some suggestion that the Senate was not terribly concerned about having to delay the climate-change discussion.
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Thank you, panjandrum. :)

    One more question, may I think the writer is implying the debate over health care is more important for the senate than finalising the climate-change bill?
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    ...
    One more question, may I think the writer is implying the debate over health care is more important for the senate than finalising the climate-change bill?
    I'm not sure if you could always infer that. In this particular case, though, I am sure you are right. More than that, I think the writer believes the Senate welcomed the excuse to delay the climate-change bill.
     
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