UPDATED With Lipinski inserts and statement....
WASHINGTON--The House voted 220 to 207 on Thursday night on the final piece of legislation in the Democratic health care package.
The House passed the main part of the bill on Sunday, in a close vote won with a pledge to make some immediate changes in the Senate drafted bill. The changes had to be made in steps in order to avoid the need in the Senate for a filibuster-proof 60 votes.
Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) voted against the base, or underlying bill, which passed with a three vote margin. He was the only Illinois Democrat and one of 34 Democrats to vote no on the base bill. For Democratic leadership and the Obama White House the vote that counted was the one for the main bill on Sunday--not the subsequent votes on the "fixes."
Lipinski said a main reason--but not the only one--he voted no on Sunday--when it counted--was his view that the underlying bill did not have enough safeguards to insure the ban on federal money paying for abortions. He did go on to vote for reconciling the Senate and House version of the bill
The Senate passed the "fixes" in the reconciliation bill on Thursday 56 to 43, and as mentioned, the House voted on it Thursday night. Lipinski was one of the 220 Democrats.
His explanation on his votes below; interesting, no mention of his reservations about the abortion language in the statement. UPDATE: After I posted this, Lipinski spokesman Nathaniel Zimmer sent this: Wrote Zimmer, "Under the rules governing reconciliation, the reconciliation bill cannot address the issue of abortion."
"I voted against the Senate health care bill because it is deeply flawed. But once it passed, I voted for the separate reconciliation bill on Sunday because it makes a number of much-needed improvements to the Senate bill.
It lessens the Senate bill's burden on small businesses in my district by exempting the first 30 employees when calculating a health care tax, removes the "Cornhusker kickback," phases out the Medicare prescription drug 'doughnut hole' that costs many of my elderly constituents $4,000 per year, improves Medicaid funding for Illinois and other states, and makes college more affordable by eliminating subsidies to banks in favor of a direct lending program.
The reconciliation bill also improves on the Senate bill by reducing the number of people whose health insurance plans would be hard hit by an excise tax and by delaying the effective date of the tax.
Today, after a ruling by the Senate parliamentarian resulted in the House of Representatives having to vote again on the reconciliation bill, I cast the same vote I cast on Sunday in favor of the reconciliation bill. The reconciliation bill is the first step in trying to improve the Senate bill, which I opposed. Many more changes are needed to this faulty bill, and I will continue to fight to make those revisions."