Texas’ junior senator John “I Was Against It Before I Was For It” Cornyn voted with the majority after making a heated argument against the bill, subsequently being verbally skewered for it – something you rarely see in the Senate. Even with my 1990’s vintage TV you could see his red face clearly as it stood in contrast to his well-coiffed silvery mane.
One can only conclude, with such a violent, whiplash-inducing flip-flop, that Cornyn had a little pressure on him. That pressure, very obviously, extends from the serious problem he is having in his home state, where Rick Noriega has mounted a highly credible and damaging campaign against him this year. Not wanting to be caught with his foot firmly planted on America’s “third rail,” Medicare, Cornyn quickly reversed himself.
Recall it was Cornyn’s vote that could have seen the passage of the bill the first time around. A vote that cost him dearly among the elderly and near-elderly. With the Noriega campaign rubbing his face in it at every turn, Cornyn couldn’t help but relent. From the Washington Post:
“Since the initial vote, Republicans had come under intense pressure from the American Medical Association, which aired advertisements in states where such Republicans as Sen. John Cornyn (Tex.), who opposed the provision, were facing reelection. The Texas chapter of the AMA withdrew its endorsement of Cornyn after his first vote. Yesterday, he switched sides.”
The result? Medicare payments to doctors will not decrease by 10%. Doctors will not be induced to turn away Medicare patients; instead, payments to insurers that back the alternative Medicare Advantage plan will be reduced.
So well in advance of his next term as our new US Senator (Texas), Rick Noriega already casts votes in the Senate. Votes for Texans this time, instead of for corporations and special interests. His first vote, for his fellow servicemen and veterans, was cast when Cornyn flipped his vote on the GI Bill. And now, the second, for seniors with fixed income.
Not a bad start.
The beauty of the whole thing is that Texans are getting a preview of how their next Senator will be voting, and see the positive effects of his votes long before November. If they like what they see, they know what they can do on November 4th.
They can vote for the guy who is pulling John Cornyn’s strings right now, State Rep, LTC (and now “Puppetmaster”) Rick Noriega.