Democrats who bucked party on healthcare reform won’t vote for repeal

Peterson is a founding member of the conservative Blue Dog coalition and has often bucked his party, voting against food-safety legislation and cap-and-trade, for example.

Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.), who has worried healthcare reform could allow taxpayer-funded support for abortion, also told The Hill he wouldn’t vote for straight-up repeal.

“While deeply flawed, the healthcare law includes some beneficial reforms, and Congressman Lipinski does not support a repeal that does nothing to maintain those policies and simply reestablishes the status quo of a year ago,” a spokesman said via e-mail. “Congressman Lipinski will be working to revise and improve the law in the new Congress by targeting its most problematic aspects.”

Republicans campaigned on a pledge to repeal the law. A repeal bill is expected to clear the House, where Republicans hold 242 seats, but faces an uphill battle in a Senate still controlled by Democrats.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) wrote to incoming Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Monday with a warning to the House not to act to repeal the legislation, saying the proposal deserves a chance to work and that rolling it back would threaten “popular consumer protections.”

On Sunday, incoming Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said a vote on repeal would occur before President Obama’s State of the Union address this month. Upton predicted that “a significant number of Democrats” — including all those who voted “no” — would join House Republicans in voting for repeal.

“If we pass this bill with a sizable vote, and I think that we will, it will put enormous pressure on the Senate to do perhaps the same thing,” Upton said on “Fox News Sunday.”

He went on to share the rosy prediction that House support for repeal could end up just shy of the two-thirds needed to survive a presidential veto, or 290 of 435 votes.

News of Peterson and Lipinski’s stance comes as outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is scheduled to meet with Democrats Tuesday evening and strategize how to combat the GOP’s repeal efforts. 

Also Monday, Senate Democratic leaders wrote to incoming House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) warning him that they would “block” his repeal effort.

“We urge you to consider the unintended consequences that the law’s repeal would have on a number of popular consumer protections that help middle class Americans,” the letter says. “The [Medicare prescription drug] ‘donut hole’ fix is just one measure that would be threatened by a repeal effort. Taking this benefit away from seniors would be irresponsible and reckless at a time when it is becoming harder and harder for seniors to afford a healthy retirement.”

Tags Boehner Harry Reid John Boehner

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