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  NRSC: Tester was '60th vote' for ACA
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ContributorBrandonius Maximus 
Last EditedBrandonius Maximus  Mar 24, 2011 11:06am
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News DateThursday, March 24, 2011 05:05:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionHere’s a line Democratic Sen. Jon Tester can expect to hear a lot from Republicans over the next year and a half: He was “the 60th vote” for the health care law.

That’s how the National Republican Senatorial Committee phrased it Wednesday to remind Montana voters that Tester — who’s facing a tough race for reelection next year — supported the law. His opponent, Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg, not only opposed the law known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but is also trying to cut off the funding for it.

Tester’s office was ready, though. His aides e-mailed the video of the Senate roll call vote in December 2009 — which clearly shows Tester casting the 52nd vote.

Clearly, the phrases “60th vote” and “deciding vote” are going to pop up a lot in Republican campaigns next year — and they can apply to just about any vulnerable Democrat. GOP Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who unseated Democrat Russ Feingold last year, claimed that Feingold was “the deciding vote” on the health care bill, just as Republican Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas claimed that then-Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln was “the deciding vote.”

In reality, the last Democratic senator to commit to the health care bill was Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who’s likely to have an even tougher reelection race next year than Tester. (In fairness, the NRSC calls him the “60th vote” too.)
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