Friday, March 27, 2015

Do Electoral Considerations Sometimes Trump Party Ideology? They Sure Did In Yesterday's Paid Sick Leave Vote


Johnson found something else to stick to his guns over

The Senate has been debating the 2016 budget for the last few days. Actually, what they've been doing is voting on amendments. Yesterday, for example, the rejected Bernie Sanders' amendment that would have raised the minimum wage. It failed 48-52, every single Democrat voting YES and all but two Republicans-- Susan Collins (ME) and Rob Portman (OH)-- voting NO. I guess Republicans figure their voters don't care about the minimum wage.

Almost all the Democratic-sponsored amendments were defeated. Almost. Patty Murray introduced one that passed pretty handily, despite dogged opposition for hard core right-wingers like Ted Cruz and most of the Confederates. Murray's amendment establishs a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation to allow Americans to earn paid sick time. After some vote switching from Republicans who will have to face the voters in 2016, it passed 61-39. Again, all the Democrats voted YES, but this time, they were joined by 16 Republicans. Some of those 16 are from blue and blue-leaning states where the sick leave legislation is very popular. It may be contrary to Republican "values," but several endangered senators who will be facing the voters next year, crossed the aisle and voted with the Democrats.

That list included Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Richard Burr (R-NC), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mark Kirk (R-IL), John McCain (R-AZ), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Pat Toomey (R-PA). Hilary Clinton is looking a huge wins in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Wisconsin and New Hampshire, a very good chances to score in Ohio, and competitive races in Arizona and North Carolina. Toomey and Johnson actually voted NO and then switched their votes! Other Republicans who may have a tough time with reelection battles in 2016 but who stuck with GOP anti-worker ideology included Roy Blunt (R-MO), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Dean Heller (R-NV). And all the senators talking about running for president in 2016 voted NO-- Ted Cruz (R-TX), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Marco Rubio (R-FL). Hillary Clinton backed the legislation. “The absence of quality affordable childcare is a very big factor in limiting and sometimes ending women’s participation in the workforce," said Clinton. "The absence of paid leave is a strong signal to women and particularly mothers that the society and our economy don’t value being a mother... If we did more for childcare and we did more on paid family leave, particularly for new mothers, we would be sending the right signals." Tough argument to debate outside of backward areas of The South!

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At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait until Wall St whines about how providing sick pay will cause the collapse of the global economy. All the GOP votes will reverse.


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