Melancon wouldn't have tipped the scales in Budget Cmte vote

Rep. Charlie Melancon's (D-La.) departure from the Budget Committee earlier this month had little bearing on the passage of the reconciliation healthcare bill.

The committee voted 21-16 Thursday to refer the reconciliation bill to the Rules Committee. In the end only two Democrats -- Reps. Chet Edwards (Texas) and Allen Boyd (Fla.) -- sided with their Republican colleagues to vote against moving the bill forward.

Earlier this month, Louisiana Democratic officials claimed the Democratic leadership pressured Melancon into leaving the committee for not supporting healthcare reform. Melancon had stated firmly that he would vote against reconciliation. While that vote wouldn't have tipped the scales, it may have tinted the optics of the bill's passing.

Melancon's replacement on the committee, Rep. Dennis Moore (D-Kan.), voted "yes."

Updated 4:15 p.m.