After a long, marathon vote-a-rama in the Senate tonight, Republicans managed to get their resolution to begin repeal of the Affordable Care Act passed on a vote of 51-48. Senator Dianne Feinstein was absent because she is having pacemaker surgery. Senator Jeff Sessions slithered in toward the end to cast the 51st vote.
Before the vote on the resolution, votes were held on many amendments ahead of the final vote. All were defeated, including one that would have preserved the ban on pre-existing condition exclusions, children's dental and vision insurance, and coverage of birth control pills for women. That doesn't mean they're gone. It just means that Dems couldn't get Republicans to commit to preserving those provisions in their repeal bills.
But here is what you should know. Every Democratic Senator stood up before their vote and protested over the objections of the chair. Every. One. Heidi Heitkamp was in tears; Joe Manchin was strong. Ron Wyden was lit, as was Chris Murphy. Senator Angus King said it violated his conscience to vote for such a thing.
Every objection was met with a smack of the gavel and the admonition that debate wasn't allowed during a vote. Undeterred, each Democrat stood up and registered their objection over the gavel.
As sad and frustrating as that vote was, those Democrats standing up made it worth staying up and watching the whole thing. They stood for us. Every one. Together.
Thank you, Dems. Even if we didn't win this round, stay strong and stay together. Because there will be a time where it will be a turning point.
Here's some of the vote. Each Democrat stood and cast their vote while protesting.
Al Franken, Elizabeth Warren among the parade of Democrats drowned out when defending Obamacare. pic.twitter.com/lkhcvxM0Tw
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) January 12, 2017