All Republicans voted yes and every last Democrat voted no (Lieberman and Mark Warner missed the roll), which is a credit either to Reid and Durbin in keeping the caucus together or to the nutroots in intimidating vulnerable Dems with the prospect of primary challenges in 2012. For cripes sake, even Ben Nelson voted against it. Nebraskans couldn’t so much as eat in his presence last year, such was their disgust at his legislative bribe-taking to support O-Care.
As Chris Matthews might say, you know who else exercises that sort of populist ideological discipline over its leaders? The Muslim Brotherhood.
In classic Senate fashion, the vote on the repeal measure was anything but straightforward. The repeal measure was actually in the form of an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill, and the vote was actually on a “budget point of order” and needed 60 votes for passage.
“Voters in Missouri and nationwide sent a clear message last fall that they wanted their leaders in Washington to repeal and replace this law,” Sen. Roy Blunt said in a statement following the vote. “I’m deeply disappointed that my colleagues across the aisle refused to listen to that clear message, and instead voted to defend this bill, which two federal courts have already deemed unconstitutional.”
Another amendment to the health care repeal law did see passage, however – an amendment to repeal a provision that requires businesses to file a 1099 form with the IRS for every vendor with which they’ve done $600 worth of business or more. Both parties were sympathetic to complaints from the business community that the provision would create onerous paperwork requirements, and the amendment passed easily and with bipartisan support, 81-17.
Here’s the roll on the vote to repeal the 1099 provision. Among the liberals who joined the GOP on that one: Boxer, Coons, Feinstein, and even John Kerry. Hey — they said they’d be willing to “tweak” the law, didn’t they?
I’m glad they pushed for a vote, as this’ll be a useful bludgeon in the general two years from now against red-state Dems like Tester, and having this issue off the table for awhile is probably to the GOP’s advantage insofar as it limits public perceptions that they’re not focusing on the economy. But even so: Not a single Democratic yes vote after November’s wipeout? Really?