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Who cast the deciding vote in the Senate that led to passage of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act?
Depends on whom you ask and where you live.
Senate candidate Connie Mack IV claims it was his Democratic opponent, Sen. Bill Nelson. In Ohio conservatives say it was Sen. Sherrod Brown. Michigan Republicans blame Sen. Debbie Stabenow. Sen. Bob Casey gets that tag in Pennsylvania, likewise Claire McCaskill in Missouri.
“Sen. Nelson is responsible,” Mack said Thursday from Washington in a teleconference with reporters. “He cast the deciding vote in the Senate. If I had been in U.S. Senate, we would not have had Obamacare.”
In reality, however, not any one of these senators, Nelson included, was in a uniquely powerful position to assure the bill’s passage.
There’s no aruging that Nelson’s vote was crucial, but 60 votes were required to end a filibuster threat and insure passage of the bill. So in effect, each of the 60 senators voting for it could be considered having delivered the “deciding vote.”
A couple of weeks ago, Politifact, an arm of the Tampa Bay Times, checked in to the “deciding vote” claims after the 60 Plus Association spent more than $1 million in television ads attacking Nelson for his role in the health care legislation. Politifact’s decision: mostly false.
Referring to that ad in a post on his Facebook page, Nelson joined the “deciding vote” fray.
“The front group 60 Plus Association has put another false TV ad in Florida against me,” Nelson said. “It repeats an outrageous claim that I cast the deciding vote on health care reform legislation that cuts Medicare. First off, fact-checkers have found the legislation didn’t cut Medicare. And second, it was BEN NELSON, not me, who cast the deciding vote.”
The Ben Nelson he is referring to is not the Bonita Springs mayor, but the Democratic senator from Nebraska who some say was swayed
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