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Thursday, February 03, 2011

Senate Democrats Reject Obamacare Repeal, Vote 47-51

Along a straight party line vote Democrats in the Senate all voted against repealing Obamacare with every Senate Republican voting for the measure to repeal.

47 to 51 and two not voting. Roll call here.

With Democrats still holding a majority in the Senate, this outcome was expected but managed to put all Senate Democrats on record voting against the repeal of Obamacare which was passed against the wishes of the majority of Americans last March and still has a majority of the American public opposed to it (53 percent to 43 percent).

Via The Hill:

Republicans have acknowledged their goal with the vote was to get Democrats on record as defending a law that remains deeply unpopular with large swaths of the public. Twenty-three Senate Democrats are up for re-election in 2012, and many of them face tough races.

"I think the American people understand fully this issue and they know for sure where Democrats and Republicans are," McConnell said after the vote.

Republicans have vowed to pursue their attacks on the law until the next election, when they hope to have enough Senate votes to repeal it. In the meantime, they’ve announced plans to withhold funding for its implementation and have introduced multiple bills to repeal bits and pieces, such as the individual mandate or the Medicare payment board.

The Senate held another vote on repealing one specific portion of Obamacare which would require businesses to report annual purchases of goods and services of more than $600 to each vendor.

That repeal was passed with a vote of 81 to 17 with two not voting. Roll call on that found here.

2012 elections:

One third of the Senate seats will be in play in November 2012.

Currently, Democrats are expected to have 23 seats up for election, including two independents who caucus with the Democrats, and Republicans are expected to have 10 seats up for election.

1 Dianne Feinstein California
2 Tom Carper Delaware
3 Bill Nelson Florida
4 Daniel Akaka Hawaii
5 Ben Cardin Maryland
6 Debbie Stabenow Michigan
7 Amy Klobuchar Minnesota
8 Claire McCaskill Missouri
9 Jon Tester Montana
10 Ben Nelson Nebraska
11 Bob Menendez New Jersey
12 Jeff Bingaman New Mexico
13 Kirsten Gillibrand New York
14 Kent Conrad North Dakota
15 Sherrod Brown Ohio
16 Bob Casey, Jr. Pennsylvania
17 Sheldon Whitehouse Rhode Island
18 Jim Webb Virginia
19 Maria Cantwell Washington
20 Joe Manchin West Virginia
21 Herb Kohl Wisconsin

Independent incumbent elections
22 Joe Lieberman Connecticut
23 Bernie Sanders Vermont

Lieberman is the only one on the list of 23 Democrats and/or Independents that caucus with Democrats that was a no vote yesterday on repealing Obamacare. Lieberman recent announced he will not run for reelection in 2012.

The rest will all need to explain their vote to their constituents come November 2012.

Any Republican challengers to those Senate seats can, should and assuredly will use this vote and any other votes Republicans force Democrats in the Senate to make opposing the repeal of Obamacare, against them in campaigns.

Two judges recently declared the individual mandate portion of Obamacare aka Affordable Care Act to be unconstitutional, with the latest ruling stating the whole law is to be declared void.

The case is expected to ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court with pundits believing that court battle would be fought very close to the 2012 elections.

More on the court rulings with links to the ruling itself can be found at a previous post.