House Republicans stood together in Wednesday’s 244-185 vote to repeal ‘Obamacare’ — the 33rd vote in the chamber to roll back the law.
Five Democrats broke with their party to join them, two more than last year’s repeal vote. All five represent Republican-leaning districts. All five were among 39 Democrats to vote against final passage of the Affordable Care Act in March 2010. The three who are seeking re-election are politically vulnerable and face tough Republican challengers.
Matheson, a Blue Dog serving since 2001, voted against the GOP’s repeal effort last year. He flipped this time around to realign with Republicans against Obama’s signature law.
“I have voted against the health care bill at every opportunity in the legislative process,” Matheson said in a statement about his vote. “Plain and simple, the bill is a flawed effort that fails to address the critical issue of rising health costs.”
According to the Cook Political Report, Matheson represents the most Republican district of any Democratic incumbent. He faces tea party favorite and Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love in November, whom he led by 8 points in a recent poll.
Kissell, a second-term congressman, voted against the Republican repeal legislation last year. But he has been careful not to align himself with Obama, refusing to endorse his reelection bid. Kissell has broken with his party on multiple occasions, including on holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt.
Kissell narrowly won reelection in 2010 and redistricting has made his district more conservative. He faces the winner of an upcoming Republican run-off election between Richard Hudson, a former congressional staffer, and Scott Keadle, a state county commissioner.
McIntyre, a Blue Dog who has represented rural North Carolina since 1997, joined Republicans last year to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act. How conservative is his district? Here’s a hint: He has refused to endorse President Obama for reelection.
McIntyre’s opponent in November, state Sen. David Rouzer, is seeking to tie him to his party leaders. “He’s walked in lock step with Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi,” Rouzer told Roll Call in May.
Ross, a congressman since 2001 who serves as co-chair of the increasingly extinct Blue Dog Caucus, was an early Democratic opponent of the law and has consistently positioned himself it. He joined Republicans to vote to repeal it last year.
Ross has sought to make himself amenable to his mostly conservative constituents by aligning against Obama and Democrats on numerous issues.
He’s retiring at the end of his term.
Boren, a Blue Dog who has served Oklahoma since 2005, last year voted with Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He has gone to great lengths to distinguish himself from Democrats, including by cosponsoring anti-abortion legislation and voting for a hard-right measure calling for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.
He’s not seeking reelection this November.
Sahil Kapur is a congressional reporter for TPM. He previously covered politics and public policy for numerous publications including The Guardian and The Huffington Post. He can be reached at sahil [at] talkingpointsmemo.com.