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On the Motion (Motion to Waive All Applicable Budgetary Discipline Re: Amdt. No. 270)

Jul 25, 2017 at 9:22 p.m. ET.

This was the first Senate vote on a proposal to repeal and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA; aka Obamacare). The proposal at issue in this vote was the Better Care Reconciliation Act with additional provisions by Sen. Ted Cruz. This proposal would have:

  • Reduced the federal deficit by $420 billion.
  • Reduced Medicaid spending by $756 billion.
  • Eliminated the individual and employer mandate penalties.
  • Resulted in 22 million individuals fewer having health insurance than under current law.
  • Added $182 billion in new funding for states to help with premiums and $45 billion in new spending on substance abuse treatment and recovery.
  • Allowed use of Health Savings Accounts to be used to pay premiums.
  • Paused federal dollars to Medicaid from going to Planned Parenthood.
  • Included a provision by Sen. Ted Cruz that would allow insurers to sell unregulated plans if they also sell a regulated plan.

(Sources: CBO, Senate Budget Committee)

The vote was brought to the floor under the rules of the budget reconciliation process, in which one bill each year becomes immune to a Senate filibuster, i.e. it requires a simple majority rather than the 3/5ths threshold to pass, so long as the bill meets certain conditions related to the budget.

The Senate parliamentarian had previously ruled that provisions in the draft did not comply with the rules of the budget reconciliation process. This vote was to waive the conditions required by the budget reconciliation process. Waiving those requirements requires a 3/5ths vote. This vote failed and the proposal was ruled out of order.

The vote was on S.Amdt. 270, an amendment in the nature of a substitute to H.R. 1628, the House health care bill.

This vote was related to amendment S.Amdt. 270 (115th) (Mitch McConnell) to H.R. 1628 (115th). The title of the amendment is S.Amdt. 270 (McConnell) to H.R. 1628: Of a perfecting nature..


All Votes R D I
Yea 43%
Nay 57%

Motion Rejected. 3/5 Required. Source:

The Nay votes represented 60% of the country’s population by apportioning each state’s population to its voting senators.

Ideology Vote Chart

Republican - Yea Republican - Nay Democrat - Nay
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Notes: “Aye” or “Yea”?
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Statistically notable votes are the votes that are most surprising, or least predictable, given how other members of each voter’s party voted and other factors.

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Study Guide

How well do you understand this vote? Use this study guide to find out.

You can find answers to most of the questions below here on the vote page. For a guide to understanding the bill this vote was about, see here.

What was the procedure for this vote?

  1. What was this vote on?
  2. Not all votes are meant to pass legislation. In the Senate some votes are not about legislation at all, since the Senate must vote to confirm presidential nominations to certain federal positions.

    This vote is related to a bill. However, that doesn’t necessarily tell you what it is about. Congress makes many decisions in the process of passing legislation, such as on the procedures for debating the bill, whether to change the bill before voting on passage, and even whether to vote on passage at all.

    This was a vote on an amendment to the bill. You can find the text of the amendment by looking for where it appears in the text of the Congressional Record. If you’re wondering why Congress doesn’t make it easier to find the text of each amendment, so are we.

    You can learn more about the various motions used in Congress at If you aren’t sure what the Senate was voting on, try seeing if it’s on this list.

  3. What is the next step after this vote?
  4. Take a look at where this bill is in the legislative process. What might come next? Keep in mind what this specific vote was on, and the context of the bill. Will there be amendments? Will the other chamber of Congress vote on it, or let it die?

    For this question it may help to briefly examine the bill itself.

What is your analysis of this vote?

  1. What trends do you see in this vote?
  2. Members of Congress side together for many reasons beside being in the same political party, especially so for less prominent legislation or legislation specific to a certain region. What might have determined how the roll call came out in this case? Does it look like Members of Congress voted based on party, geography, or some other reason?

  3. How did your senators vote?
  4. There are two votes here that should be more important to you than all the others. These are the votes cast by your senators, which are meant to represent you and your community. Do you agree with how your senators voted? Why do you think they voted the way they did?

    If you don’t already know who your Members of Congress are you can find them by entering your address here.

  5. How much of the United States population is represented by the yeas?
  6. GovTrack displays the percentage of the United States population represented by the yeas on some Senate votes just under the vote totals. We do this to highlight how the people of the United States are represented in the Senate. Since each state has two senators, but state populations vary significantly, the individuals living in each state have different Senate representation. For example, California’s population of near 40 million is given the same number of senators as Wyoming’s population of about 600,000.

    Do the senators who voted yea represent a majority of the people of the United States? Does it matter?

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