(Bloomberg) — Senate Democrats blocked a proposal to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that Republicans sought to add to a U.S. highway funding bill.
Senators voted 49-43, with 60 required to advance the amendment, during an unusual Sunday session. The federal Highway Trust Fund’s authorization is set after July 31, and the Senate’s highway funding measure, H.R. 22, is significantly different from the plan passed by the House.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., proposed the PPACA repeal amendment as he also agreed to allow a vote on an amendment sought by Democrats to extend the charter of the Export-Import Bank.
The majority leader said Friday he offered the PPACA repeal because Ex-Im “shouldn’t be the only vote” on a highway bill amendment. The Senate plans to vote on that amendment next.
McConnell said Sunday that PPACA is “filled with higher costs, fewer choices and broken promises” and “continues to hammer hardworking middle-class families.”
The House has voted about 60 times to repeal or delay all or part of PPACA. The Senate was under Democratic control until January.