7:30 pm Jul. 11, 20121
There were no partisan defections among the New York delegation in this afternoon's party line vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
In total, five Democrats voted with 239 Republicans to repeal President Obama's signature legislative achievement. No Republicans voted against the measure.
Last week, two upstate Democrats in right-leaning districts--Kathy Hochul and Bill Owens--broke with the party and joined the Republican majority in holding attorney general Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, a vote that was scored by the National Rifle Association.
With as many as eight competitive congressional races in the state, today's vote makes for a rather clear-cut divide between the two parties on what's likely to be a major issue in the fall campaign.
After seeing their delegation whittled down to just two members, Republicans won six New York seats in 2010, by running aggressively against the health care plan.
Democrats are hoping the issue doesn't have the same resonance this year, either because the public has a better sense of the positive provisions of the law, or because the Supreme Court settled the issue when it certified the constitutionality of the law.
The campaign committees for both parties immediately emailed to attack the incumbents on the other side.
In the case of Hochul, who won a special election running against Paul Ryan's proposed budget plan, Republicans tried to cast the vote as a cut to Medicare.
“Kathy Hochul voted today to keep the $500 billion in cuts to Medicare and job destroying tax increases in place. It’s clear that in order to stop ObamaCare’s drastic cuts to Medicare voters must repeal Kathy Hochul," said Nat Sillin, a spokesman for the National Republican Campaign Committee.
Democrats framed the vote as a distraction from the economy, and highlighted the contrast with the congressional health care plans.
“Rather than creating jobs, Congressman Michael Grimm voted yet again to protect his own taxpayer-funded lifetime health care and the insurance company profits of his own campaign contributors,” said Jesse Ferguson of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.