Senate Defeats Dem Leader Reid’s ‘Doc Fix’ Plan

Roll Call is reporting that the $250 billion extension to the Medicare physician payment program was defeated in the Senate today. Reid couldn’t even get a simple majority losing in a 47 to 53 vote.

Naturally Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev) blames the Republicans. Reid complained that the loss was a result of “activities and actions by the Republican-dominated Washington.” Seriously. A “Republican dominated Washington”? Did Harry Reid miss the fact that the Democrats have majorities in both the House and the Senate as well as holding the White House? How could Washington be “Republican dominated” when the GOP has little capability to affect the debate through the power of majority control?

Roll Call pinpoints the most salient question here, though. If Reid can’t even get this one through with a Democrat majority how is he going to get the rest of Obamacare passed? The GOP, for its part, was ecstatic.

“In the Senate’s first vote on health care spending this year, a bipartisan majority rejected the Democrat leadership’s attempt to add another quarter trillion dollars to the national credit card without any plan to pay for it,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said after the tally. “With a record deficit and a ballooning national debt, the American people are saying enough is enough. Today’s vote shows that this message is finally starting to get through to Congress. Hopefully it’s a sign of things to come in the health care debate ahead.”

I have to say, for all the talk of wishy washy Republicans crossing the aisle and thumbing noses at their constituents, the GOP has been startling resolute in the face of Obamacare. With but one exception in the Senate (the left-leaning Olympia Snowe of Maine) the GOP has voted consistently against Obamacare. And this bill even saw Snowe siding with her GOP brethren against Reid for a change.

In the end, 12 Democrats and one Independent joined all 40 Republicans in voting against the bill. Among those in the Democratic Conference voting no were: Sens. Byron Dorgan (N.D.), Robert Byrd (W.Va.), Kent Conrad (N.D.), Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) Jon Tester (Mont.), Jim Webb (Va.), Mark Warner (Va.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), Herb Kohl (Wis.), Russ Feingold (Wis.) Bill Nelson (Fla.), Evan Bayh (Ind.) and Claire McCaskill (Mo.). The primary argument among opponents of the measure is that it should contain offsets.

If you are a Republican that is mad at your leadership — and you have a lot of reason to feel that way — this issue should warm your heart. The GOP has been stalwart in opposition to Obamacare thus far.

(Cross posted at

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