A Republican attempt to include a provision in a government funding bill that would block the District of Columbia from using money to implement its own individual health-care mandate failed in the Senate on Wednesday.
Senators voted 54-44 to table the amendment from GOP Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOcasio-Cortez goes indoor skydiving for her birthday GOP rallies around Manchin, Sinema McConnell gets GOP wake-up call MORE (Texas). The vote effectively pigeonholes the proposal with the Senate poised to pass the larger funding bill on Wednesday.
"If you vote to table this amendment, you are voting to raise taxes on low-income D.C. residents who are struggling to make ends meet," Cruz said ahead of the vote.
Cruz and GOP Sens. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - House debt vote today; Biden struggles to unite Arkansas legislature splits Little Rock in move that guarantees GOP seats The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate nears surprise deal on short-term debt ceiling hike MORE (Ark.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeRetreating economy creates new hurdle for Democrats in 2022 McConnell vows GOP won't help raise debt ceiling in December after Schumer 'tantrum' Senate locks in deal to vote on debt ceiling hike Thursday MORE (Utah), Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonMost Senate Republicans don't want to see Trump run again Hillicon Valley — Presented by American Edge Project — TSA to issue cybersecurity directives to secure rail, aviation sectors Bill requiring companies report cyber incidents moves forward in the Senate MORE (Wis.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (Miss.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioDefense & National Security — Military starts giving guidance on COVID-19 vaccine refusals Blinken pressed to fill empty post overseeing 'Havana syndrome' Tim Scott takes in .3 million in third quarter MORE (Fla.) introduced the amendment to the funding bill, which includes money for the departments of Agriculture, Transportation, Interior, Housing and Urban Development, and financial services.
With 60 votes needed to pass government funding bills in the Senate, the GOP health-care proposal wasn't expected to be included in the funding bill. Including the provision could have sunk its chances of passing the Senate, where Republicans need roughly 10 votes from Democrats.
Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyMcConnell gets GOP wake-up call The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - After high drama, Senate lifts debt limit Here are the 11 GOP senators who helped advance the debt extension MORE (R-Ala.) added that he would oppose the amendment, though he agrees with the policy, in an effort to maintain "regular order" in the government funding process.
Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahySenate Judiciary squares off over John Lewis voting rights bill Senate Democrats introduce legislation to strengthen Voting Rights Act 92 legal scholars call on Harris to preside over Senate to include immigration in reconciliation MORE (Vt.), the top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, said that he and Shelby had worked hard to keep "poison pills" out of appropriations bills and labeled Cruz's proposal a "partisan poison pill."
"Here we're telling the District of Columbia, 'we'll tell you what to do.' That's not democracy," he said.
House Republicans got a similar provision into their funding bill earlier this month. The two bills will need to be worked out in a conference committee.
The District of Columbia passed its individual health insurance requirement earlier this year. Similar to the federal mandate, most individuals will either have to have health insurance or pay a penalty.
Several states have considered implementing their own health insurance mandate after Republicans used their tax bill to gut the federal individual mandate after 2018.