A reality based independent journal of observation & analysis, serving the Flathead Valley & Montana since 2006. © James Conner.

25 July 2017 — 1411 mdt

Senate vote proves there are at most two “moderate” GOP senators

Shortly after 1300 MDT today, the U.S. Senate voted 51–50 to begin debate on a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Montana’s junior senator, Steve Daines, voted for the motion, as did so-called “moderates” Dean Heller (R-NV), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Shelley Capito (R-WV), and certified maverick John McCain (R-AZ). Only two Republicans, Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), voted against it.

Last week, Capito said “I didn’t come to Washington to hurt people.” But her vote today proves she’s stayed in Washington long enough to overcome that noble intention.

McCain, a life long beneficiary of government health care, voted to let the mischief begin, then delivered a speech lauding bipartisanship and criticizing Democrats for passing the Affordable Care Act on a party line vote, conveniently not admitting that the ACA vote was party line because Republicans decided to oppose everything that President Obama proposed. His return to the Senate was dramatic. His call for bipartisanship, given his vote against the ACA, was hypocritical.

The Republican strategy is clear: find enough votes to pass something, anything, that President Trump will sign, call it repeal, call it victory, and then move on to providing the filthy rich with a tax break that spares them the indignity of not being able to afford a new private jet.