WSJ: The Senate on Wednesday voted 51-47 against repealing the health-care overhaul but approved a measure eliminating a tax requirement that had irked small businesses.
All of the chamber’s Democrats who were present and one independent who caucuses with them voted against it, and every Republican voted for it…
Wednesday’s voting produced a small change to the health law, though. The Senate voted 81-17 to remove a piece of the law that calls for businesses to file a 1099 tax form when they pay a vendor more than $600 in a year.
President Barack Obama has indicated he would sign the tax-change measure, and the House already approved a similar bill. The change will be the most significant so far to the law, designed to expand insurance to 32 million Americans.
….Wednesday’s vote against repeal means that a Republican repeal bill, which passed the House last month, is now effectively dead in Congress.
Two senators, Democrat Mark Warner of Virginia and independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, missed the day’s votes.
Meanwhile Ronald Reagan’s former Solicitor General, Harvard Law Professor Charles Fried, and New York University law professor Rick Hills (a “registered Republican and outspoken conservative”),believe the health care mandate is constitutional – which is bad news for Tea Party Judge Roger Vinson in Florida.
Vice President Joe Biden talks with Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., after President Barack Obama signed the New START Treaty in the Oval Office, Feb. 2, 2011. Behind them, the President talks with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Reuters: President Barack Obama and Republican Senator John McCain, bitter rivals from the 2008 election campaign whose feud festered for two years, completed a thaw Wednesday when they sat down for Oval Office talks.
Obama’s defeat of McCain in the 2008 presidential election left sour feelings on both sides that lingered through Obama’s first two years in office.
Events surrounding the shooting a month ago of Democratic lawmaker Gabrielle Giffords of McCain’s home state of Arizona helped improve ties between the two leaders.
Obama’s appeal at a memorial service in Tucson for a renewed era of civility between politicians in Washington drew praise from McCain in a Washington Post opinion article.
…A White House official said the half-hour meeting arose after they spoke by phone to discuss McCain’s Post article.
“Senator McCain had indicated that he wanted to discuss a number of important issues with the president, and the president was eager to see him,” the official said. More here
“Bitter” rivals? Only one of these men is bitter, and it sure ain’t the President