Cassidy’s victory over Landrieu means that the Republicans will have 54 seats in the Senate this year.
Some pundits are describing the Republicans’ new control over the Senate as a sign that voters hate the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
I think another way to look at the results is that voters want “transparency in government” to mean that the government should be honest with the public, not that government officials should be able to read our private cell phone messages when they’re bored.
Cassidy, a Republican had been serving in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2009.
Landrieu, a Democrat, began serving in the Senate since 1997. Since 2010, she had been trying to make peace with other Democrats over PPACA and, at the same time, show Louisiana voters that she could see PPACA’s flaws as well as its potential virtues.
That was a hard job.
As an outsider, Cassidy had the freedom to support PPACA implementation reform bills with obvious bipartisan appeal to anyone outside the Congressional Progressive Caucus. One example: H.R. 3362, a bill that would have required the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to post weekly, standardized PPACA public exchange activity reports.
H.R. 3362 passed in the House with unanimous support from all Republicans who voted – and with support from 33 of the 187 Democrats who voted. The bill then entered the PPACA Loyalty Zone in the Senate and died.
Over in the Senate, Landrieu struggled to get her PPACA-supporting colleagues to back bills of her own that had obvious strategic appeal.