Heavily along partisan lines, the House on Friday afternoon voted to pass Rep. Fred Upton's proposal allowing Americans to keep their existing health coverage if their insurers threatened to cancel it. But 39 Democrats joined the Republicans in supporting a bill that President Obama has already threatened to veto, leading us to wonder: Which Democrats have been most disloyal to the president on Obamacare?
As we noted earlier, the Upton vote was a benchmark for Democratic loyalty, the first contentious vote on an Obamacare-related issue since the shutdown ended. But it's not the only such vote since the shutdown began. During the shutdown, you may recall, the Republicans' key tactic was to force votes in favor of funding popular issues to which they thought Democrats would have to acquiesce. Given that the shutdown itself was an attempt to defund Obamacare, votes in favor of those partial funding measures were votes that undermined the Democratic strategy to preserve the bill.
We looked at eight of those votes — to fund border security, nuclear safety, Head Start, food stamps, veterans' benefits, National Guard pay, and NIH — to see how the 39 defectors on the Upton bill voted. Some had strong political motivations to do so; nine of the 39 are in districts that the Cook Political Report labels as "Toss ups," races in which it's impossible to predict whether the Democratic or Republican candidate will win 2014. But some represent rock-solid Democratic districts. So: The most disloyal Democrat would be one that voted for the Upton bill, voted with the Republicans on the defunding votes, and is from a solidly Democratic district.