In a rebuke to President Barack Obama and his threat of veto,
39 House Democrats earlier Friday voted for GOP-sponsored legislationthat would
allow insurers to keep offering health plans even if they do not meet certain minimum requirements of the Affordable Care Act.
It wasn’t as many as Democratic aides had privately feared earlier this week, but the defections are a significant jump from a Democratic caucus that, for the most part, has stood unified on the 40-plus House GOP attempts to repeal or alter the law. Before Friday, the largest number of Democrats that had voted against the law was 35, on a July bill to delay Obamacare’s employer mandate.
What do the 39 Democrats have in common? Most are in competitive districts in next year’s midterm election, and all are being targeted by the campaign arm of Republicans for their support of Obamacare at a time when it is becoming less and less popular and its rollout has been a disaster.
“I will work with any member, Democrat or Republican, who is willing to work together to find common-sense solutions such as this to put the American people first,” said Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.), a freshman Democrat who is a prime target for Republicans next year.
Murphy’s praise of the law went directly against many other Democrats and the White House, who painted it as a step in Republican attempts to dismantle the law. It is understandable in light of the expected attacks against him — but it definitely does not mean that Republicans will stop targeting him.
The National Journal’s Scott Bland has some good data profiling the Democrats who voted in favour of Rep. Fred Upton’s (R-Mich.) bill on Friday:
- Eight of nine Democrats who hail from districts won by Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election voted for the bill.
- Only two Democrats who come from districts in which Obama won less than 53% of the vote last year voted “no” on the bill.
- 28 of 36 Democrats who come from districts in which Obama won less than 55% of the vote voted in favour of the bill.
Here’s the full list of Democratic defectors:
- Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.)
- Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.)
- Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.)
- Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.)
- Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa)
- Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Calif.)
- Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.)
- Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.)
- Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.)
- Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.)
- Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.)
- Rep. Bill Enyart (D-Ill.)
- Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.)
- Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.)
- Rep. Pete Gallego (D-Texas)
- Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.)
- Rep. Joe Garcia (D-Fla.)
- Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.)
- Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (D-N.H.)
- Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa)
- Rep. Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.)
- Rep. Sean Maloney (D-N.Y.)
- Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah)
- Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.)
- Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.)
- Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.)
- Rep. Rick Nolan (D-Minn.)
- Rep. Bill Owens (D-N.Y.)
- Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.)
- Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.)
- Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.)
- Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.)
- Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.)
- Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.)
- Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.)
- Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.)
- Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.)
- Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas)
- Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.)
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