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House|Senate

114th Congress, Vote 253; Senate #22

To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 entirely.


Official Title: An act to authorize funds for Federal-aid highways, highway safety programs, and transit programs, and for other purposes.

SA 2328: To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 entirely. (Amendment to HR 22)
Amendment died when it failed to achieve cloture with Senate vote (49-43) on July 26, 2015.

Synopsis: In July 2015, the Senate opted to use HR 22 – a bill that had been unanimously passed by the House in January – as their placeholder bill for a long term highway funding proposal.

HR 22 was originally passed by the House as the "Hire More Heroes Act of 2015." Its purpose was to allow employers to hire employees with VA or TRICARE coverage without having them included as employees for whom the ACA's employer mandate (requirement to offer group health insurance) applies.

But in July, the Senate used HR 22 as a platform for their DRIVE Act, which is a long-term highway funding bill. The round-about measure was invoked because budget bills cannot originate in the Senate – they must instead begin in the House. But the Senate can use a bill that started in the House and completely replace the text, as they did here.

Once HR 22 was gutted and replaced with the Senate's DRIVE Act, a long list of amendments were proposed. One of them was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's Amendment, SA 2328. (Although many amendments were introduced, SA 2328 was one of only two that was put to a vote.)

SA 2328 was short and to the point, calling for a full repeal of the ACA (aka, Obamacare), effective 180 days after HR 22 is enacted.

But the Senate rejected the Amendment along party lines, in a 49-43 vote on July 26. A 60-vote majority would have been required in order to add SA 2328 to the DRIVE Act. Eight Senators did not vote.

Why supporters pushed for this bill

  • SA 2328 marked the first time in more than two years that the Senate has voted on full repeal of the ACA. The Senate regained a Republican majority in January, and SA 2328 gave freshman Senators an opportunity to cast their vote against Obamacare and be on record as officially opposed to the healthcare reform law.
  • There were no surprises in terms of votes; Republicans all voted in favor of adding SA 2328 to the DRIVE Act, reiterating their opposition to the ACA.
  • Lawmakers were also not surprised that it didn't pass. Senator Ted Cruz (who is fiercely opposed to the ACA and supports repeal measures like SA 2328) had previously criticized the upcoming vote on SA 2328, calling it "meaningless political theater" because the vote would split along party lines, and would fall short of the 60 votes needed to add the amendment to the bill. Instead, Cruz, along with Senator Mike Lee, was pushing for the use of reconciliation – needing only a 51-vote majority – to repeal the ACA.

Why opponents tried to stop the bill

  • Democrats have long supported the ACA, and continued to reiterate the many ways that it's helping Americans, including an estimated 13 million people who have obtained coverage through the ACA's exchanges, and more than 14 million who have gained coverage under Medicaid.

  • President Obama is sure to veto any bill that contains a provision to repeal the ACA. Attaching a repeal amendment to a must-pass highway funding bill puts the entire bill in peril (although the Senate did end up passing the DRIVE Act on a 65-34 vote – without the Obamacare repeal amendment – disagreements with the House remain over some provisions of the bill, so the Senate also passed a temporary highway funding bill on the same day).
  • Even among Republicans, there is a growing consensus that full repeal of the ACA is no longer a practical solution. They're pushing instead for incremental changes and repeals of specific portions of the bill – for example, changing the ACA's definition of full time to 40 hours a week, and repealing the medical device tax.
07/26/2015 Status: Senate cloture motion rejected

More: select a member to see his or her other key health care votes.

Yes (49)
R Dan Sullivan AK
R Richard Shelby AL
R John Boozman AR
R Tom Cotton AR
R John McCain AZ
R Cory Gardner CO
R Marco Rubio FL
R John Isakson GA
R David Perdue GA
R Joni Ernst IA
R Charles Grassley IA
R Michael Crapo ID
R James Risch ID
R Mark Kirk IL
R Daniel Coats IN
R Jerry Moran KS
R Pat Roberts KS
R Mitch McConnell KY
R Rand Paul KY
R Bill Cassidy LA
R David Vitter LA
R Susan Collins ME
R Roy Blunt MO
R Thad Cochran MS
R Roger Wicker MS
R Steve Daines MT
R Richard Burr NC
R Thom Tillis NC
R John Hoeven ND
R Deb Fischer NE
R Benjamin Sasse NE
R Kelly Ayotte NH
R Dean Heller NV
R Robert Portman OH
R James Inhofe OK
R James Lankford OK
R Lindsey Graham SC
R Tim Scott SC
R Mike Rounds SD
R John Thune SD
R Lamar Alexander TN
R John Cornyn TX
R Ted Cruz TX
R Orrin Hatch UT
R Mike Lee UT
R Ron Johnson WI
R Shelley Capito WV
R John Barrasso WY
R Michael Enzi WY
No (43)
Our
Pick
D Barbara Boxer CA
D Dianne Feinstein CA
D Michael Bennet CO
D Richard Blumenthal CT
D Christopher Murphy CT
D Thomas Carper DE
D Bill Nelson FL
D Mazie Hirono HI
D Brian Schatz HI
D Richard Durbin IL
D Joe Donnelly IN
D Elizabeth Warren MA
D Benjamin Cardin MD
D Barbara Mikulski MD
I Angus King ME
D Gary Peters MI
D Debbie Stabenow MI
D Alan Franken MN
D Amy Klobuchar MN
D Claire McCaskill MO
D Jon Tester MT
D Heidi Heitkamp ND
D Jeanne Shaheen NH
D Cory Booker NJ
D Robert Menéndez NJ
D Martin Heinrich NM
D Tom Udall NM
D Harry Reid NV
D Kirsten Gillibrand NY
D Charles Schumer NY
D Sherrod Brown OH
D Jeff Merkley OR
D Ron Wyden OR
D Robert Casey PA
D John Reed RI
D Sheldon Whitehouse RI
D Timothy Kaine VA
D Mark Warner VA
D Patrick Leahy VT
D Maria Cantwell WA
D Patty Murray WA
D Tammy Baldwin WI
D Joe Manchin WV
Not Voting (8)
R Lisa Murkowski AK
R Jefferson Sessions AL
R Jeff Flake AZ
D Chris Coons DE
D Edward Markey MA
R Patrick Toomey PA
R Bob Corker TN
I Bernard Sanders VT