I understand that some people were upset when Scott Brown voted for the $15 billion “jobs” bill in February.
Brown’s voting for cloture on the $140 billion spending bill earlier this week, although he voted against the bill on the merits, also was worrisome (although Brown may be onto something, since one left wing blog is worried that that spending bill may doom the ability to pass Obamacare because the spending bill uses revenue offsets which are needed for the health care bill).
But please, have no doubt about the benefit of the Brown victory. Brown has joined 40 other Republican Senators in signing a letter vowing to vote against any changes to the Senate health care bill which are subject to a “point of order” challenge during the budget reconciliation process.
Since 60 votes are needed to overcome a point of order, such a challenge would damage any Democratic attempt to pass the bill in the House, since the Democrats would not be able to uphold promises to Bart Stupak and others. As reported by Roll Call:
Senate Republicans on Wednesday were preparing to send a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) vowing to raise potentially crippling objections to any portion of a proposed health care reconciliation package that they believe violates the procedure’s narrow guidelines.
The letter, signed by all 41 Senate Republicans and spearheaded by Minority Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.), is actually directed at House Democrats. To sow discord among House Democrats and derail passage of health care reform in that chamber, Senate Republicans are making it very clear that anything House Democrats agree to could die in the Senate.
Allahpundit has a more colorful explanation:
Specifically, it has the effect of putting Stupak and wavering House Democrats on notice that if they pass the hated Reid bill on the assumption that reconciliation will fix it later, they’re in for a major disappointment — and not necessarily because of Republicans. Remember, pro-choice Dems could raise a point of order too to strip out any pro-life language; so long as they have 41 votes on their side, they can block any attempt to reinsert it. Which means Stupak had better be awfully careful about voting for the Reid bill, n’est-ce pas?
No Scott Brown, and we already would have had Obamacare, probably larded up with even more spending and government control.
With Scott Brown, we still have a fighting chance to stop the worst piece of legislation “since the Great Depression.”
I’d rather still be fighting. And talking.