After failing to block the debate on the Senate healthcare reform legislation, the Republicans have singled out three Democrats who they say betrayed their principles and electoral pledges by voting to break the filibuster.
The moderate Democrats who all expressed reservations about the bill but ultimately voted in favor of debate were Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Ben Nelson of Nebraska.
In particular, Nelson has gone on record as telling ABC’s This Week, "I don’t want a big-government, Washington-run operation that undermines the private insurance that 200 million Americans now have," according to media reports.
This prompted Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele to issue a statement following last weekend’s vote accusing the lawmakers in question of "[sacrificing] their principles to bring America dangerously closer to government-run health care."
Steele summed up their affirmative vote by saying, "Nelson sold out his conscience and voted in favor of federally funded abortions. Lincoln sold out her principles by voting in favor of a government-run insurance plan, something she previously said she opposed. And Landrieu simply sold her vote to the highest bidder after Harry Reid added a $300 million earmark just for Louisiana."
The Senate voted 60-39 on Saturday to break the Republican filibuster, and the bill is expected to move to the floor for debate after Thanksgiving.