Earlier this week, a bill introduced by Jim DeMint went down in flames in an almost straight party vote. The bill basically sought a yes/no vote on allowing votes for bills to be, to put it bluntly, purchased by offering deals in the same or future legislation. The result of the bill was a 53-46 defeat, with seven Democrats joining Republicans in voting for the legislation.
While it wasn't a headline grabber, those that have been paying attention to the health care debate certainly took note of this small piece of legislation. Opponents of the health care takeover have been up in arms recently as Ben Nelson's (D-NE) and Mary Landrieu's (D-LA) votes for the Senate health care bill were practically purchased by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as he offered both of them sweetheart Medicaid funding deals that only their states qualify for.
While I'm not surprised that a vote like this came down to an almost straight party vote, I do won't to recognize the 7 Democratic Senators that took a stand (even though they may have voted for the health care bill).
And now for the punchline. Ben Nelson voted for it. What a jerk. Here is the actual language from the bill that gives Nebraska its federal Medicaid dollars:
"'(3) Notwithstanding subsection (b) and paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection, the Federal medical assistance percentage otherwise determined under subsection (b) with respect to all or any portion of a fiscal year that begins on or after January 1, 2017, for the State of Nebraska, with respect to amounts expended for newly eligible individuals described in subclause (VIII) of section 1902(a)(10)(A)(i), shall be determined as provided for under subsection (y)(1) (A) (notwithstanding the period provided for in such paragraph)"
My children say you're welcome.