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Mon March 22, 2010
MO Lawmakers Stick To Party Line As Health Care Passes
St. Louis, Mo. – Missouri's Congressional delegation stuck mostly to party lines, as the House in a rare Sunday session sent a massive overhaul of the health care system to President Obama.
Republicans are vowing to use the bill against the Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections. Among their targets is Congressmen Russ Carnahan.
The Democrat from south St. Louis is running against Ed Martin, the chief of staff to former governor Matt Blunt. Martin has hammered Carnahan for weeks about his vote for the measure. Carnahan says he's comfortable voting for what he calls "good policy."
"It's what's needed right now to get people the coverage they need, to bring down costs, " says Carnahan.
The House used a procedure known as reconciliation to pass the Senate bill and a package of changes separately. That prevented the need for a second Senate vote on the main legislation, but led Republicans like Todd Akin to accuse the Democrats of ramming the measure down the throats of Americans.
Democrat Ike Skelton was the only Missouri lawmaker to break party ranks.