Moments ago, the Senate killed the House Republican budget, authored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), that would effectively end Medicare. The bill passed the House in April with only 4 Republicans out of 242 voting against it, but in the intervening weeks, the plan proved to be extremely unpopular, as demonstrated by numerous confrontations at constituent town halls, devastating polling, and most recently, by an upset in a special election that hinged largely on the Medicare plan. When the bill finally came up for a vote tonight in the Senate, five Republicans out of the 47 voted against the plan, making the final vote 40–47. Watch it:
As the plan proves more and more toxic, Republican House members may regret their votes. But perhaps they should have considered that before hastily voting on a radical plan to privatize and effectively dismantle one of the cornerstones of the American social safety net.
The Republican defectors were Sens. Scott Brown (R-MA), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Rand Paul (R-KY). (Unlike the others, Paul voted against it because it wasn’t radical enough.) Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) did not vote.