On Thursday, by a vote of 286 to 138, the House passed the bipartisan Senate-approved version of the bill — one that includes added protections for LGBT, Native American, and undocumented victims of domestic violence. All 138 votes against the bill were Republicans.
A watered down Republican version of the bill, which was offered as a substitute amendment, failed to garner enough votes to slow the process. It was struck down by a vote of 257 to 166. Sixty Republicans voted against their own party’s replacement measure.
Once again, the somewhat-less-insane minority of the GOP caucus in the House broke from the numerically dominant crazies, and teamed with Democrats to pass key legislation. (They did the same thing with the
debt ceiling tax cliff and Hurricane Sandy relief.) Part of the calculation is certainly political, though I like to think that there still are some Republicans that are motivated, at least on occasion, not only by some degree of rationality, but even empathy and other normal human feelings. In any case, it will be interesting to see whether this repeats as a way of dealing with the sequester.