DeWine joins Dems on health amendments

Ohio Sen. Mike DeWine broke ranks seven times with his fellow Republicans on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, voting for Democratic amendments to a bill on small-business health insurance.

The other 10 Republicans on the committee opposed the amendments, which failed on 10-10 votes. DeWine voted against 10 other amendments that failed 11-9, on party lines.

The seven Democratic amendments DeWine voted for were on issues affecting women's health, infant health, clinical trials, autism and disease prevention. They were offered by Sens. Tom HarkinTom HarkinDistance education: Tumultuous today and yesterday Grassley challenger no stranger to defying odds Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream MORE (Iowa), Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), Patty MurrayPatty MurraySchumer: Republicans should throw their health bill 'in the trash' Bipartisanship? It may be possible thanks to this little-known group GOP skeptical of Trump plan for paid parental leave MORE (Wash.) and Chris Dodd (Conn.).

"We weren't supersurprised because Senator Harkin and Senator DeWine have a history of working together on [disease] prevention," Harkin spokeswoman Allison Dobson said.

However, a Democratic Senate aide said Ohio chapters of national healthcare advocacy groups pressured DeWine, who faces a tough election race against Rep. Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownOvernight Finance: Trump moves to begin NAFTA talks | Dems press Treasury chief on taxes, Dodd-Frank | Biz leaders want tax changes to be permanent Mnuchin mum as Dems press for answers on tax reform, Dodd-Frank Sherrod Brown looks to defy Trump trend in Ohio MORE (D-Ohio). DeWine's office did not return calls.

The committee approved the GOP bill 11-9 on a party-line vote.