S.Amdt. 667 (McConnell) to H.R. 1628: Of a perfecting nature.
This vote was on a partial or "skinny" repeal without replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA; aka Obamacare). It had been called the "skinny" plan because it was a pared-down proposal after several earlier and more comprehensive proposals were rejected.
The 8-page proposal would have primarily:
- Eliminated the penalties associated with the individual and employer mandates to have/provide health insurance
- Paused federal dollars from going to Planned Parenthood through Medicaid for one year and increasing funding to a community health center program instead
With the result of:
- Reducing the federal deficit by $184 billion
- Increasing the number of uninsured people by 16 million
The vote was on an amendment to H.R. 1628, the House's health care proposal, which would have struck all of the text of the House's bill and replaced it with the Senate's plan instead.
The text of the proposal was made available to Senators at about 10pm, just hours before the vote. It was widely reported during the tense night hours that senators were intending to vote for the proposal even though they did not want it to become law in order to move the ball forward, with the expectation that the House would not accept the Senate's changes.
Amendment Rejected. Simple Majority Required. Source: senate.gov.
The Nay votes represented 56% of the country’s population by apportioning each state’s population to its voting senators.
“Aye” and “Yea” mean the same thing, and so do “No” and “Nay”. Congress uses different words in different sorts of votes.
The U.S. Constitution says that bills should be decided on by the “yeas and nays” (Article I, Section 7). Congress takes this literally and uses “yea” and “nay” when voting on the final passage of bills.
All Senate votes use these words. But the House of Representatives uses “Aye” and “No” in other sorts of votes.
|Nay||NV||D||Cortez Masto, Catherine||0.26917501554249723|
|Nay||MD||D||Van Hollen, Chris||0.22079226382909278|
Statistically Notable Votes
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.
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?
- What was this vote on?
- What is the next step after this vote?
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.
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?
- What trends do you see in this vote?
- How did your senators vote?
- How much of the United States population is represented by the yeas?
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?
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.
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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