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 HarkinGrassley challenger no stranger to defying odds Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream Do candidates care about our health or just how much it costs? MORE (Iowa), Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), Patty MurrayPatty MurrayInspector general reviewing HHS decision to halt ObamaCare ads Dems mock House GOP over lack of women in healthcare meeting The Hill’s Whip List: 30 Dems are against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee 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 BrownPath to 60 narrows for Trump pick Overnight Finance: Trump stock slump | GOP looks to tax bill for lifeline | Trump repeals 'blacklisting rule' | Dem wants ethics probe into Treasury secretary Dems question potential Kushner real estate deal with Chinese firm MORE (D-Ohio). DeWine's office did not return calls.
The committee approved the GOP bill 11-9 on a party-line vote.