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Affordable Care Act

Govt. Re-opens; 17 FL Yes, 11 No

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U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster was a reluctant yes and Rep. Steve Southerland was a defiant no as 17 Florida members of Congress voted to re-open the federal government and raise the debt limit on Wednesday, and 11 said no.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio was one of the "no" votes when the Senate took action in late afternoon. Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat, voted yes with the majority.

Southerland, a cast-iron conservative funeral director from Panama City, is a good fit with many of the 14 counties he represents but infuriates many in Tallahassee, which is more moderate to liberal. Southerland was already on Democrats' list of vulnerable Republicans in the 2014 election, Sunshine State News reports. Democrat Gwen Graham, daughter of former Gov. Bob Graham, outraised Southerland in the third quarter, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

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Credit Twitter.com
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Rep. Steve Southerland, R-FL

After the vote, Southerland posted a still-defiant message on his website, blaming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for rejecting the House's bills and failing to address "the long-term drivers of this shutdown," namely the federal debt and what he sees as "inequalities" in the health law.

But Rep. Daniel Webster, a Republican from Central Florida, voted yes to ending the shutdown. On his website, he said he still opposes Obamacare but that a government default on its debts was too high a price to pay. On a positive note, he said, "historic spending cuts will remain in place and taxes will not increase."

In a report of Wednesday's action in Congress by the New York Times,  the vote in the House was 285 to 144 to open the government and raise the debt ceiling to avert default. Six Republicans from Florida joined unanimous Democrats in that vote. The Senate vote was 81 to 18.

Here is how the vote went by Congressional District:

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Map of Congressional Districts.

  1. Rep. Jeff Miller (R). No.
  2. Rep. Steve Southerland (R). No.
  3. Rep. Ted Yoho (R). No.
  4. Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R). Yes.
  5. Rep. Corrine Brown (D). Yes.
  6. Rep. Ron DeSantis (R). No.
  7. Rep. John Mica (R).  No.
  8. Rep. Bill Posey (R). No.
  9. Rep. Alan Grayson (D). Yes.
  10. Rep. Daniel Webster (R). Yes.
  11. Rep. Richard Nugent (R). No.
  12. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R). Yes.
  13. Rep. W. Bill Young (R). Absent.
  14. Rep. Kathy Castor (D). Yes.
  15. Rep. Dennis Ross (R). No.
  16. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R). Yes.
  17. Rep. Thomas Rooney (R). No.
  18. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D). Yes.
  19. Rep. Trey Radel (R). No.
  20. Rep. Alcee Hastings (D). Yes.
  21. Rep. Theodore Deutch (D). Yes.
  22. Rep. Lois Frankel (D). Yes.
  23. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D). Yes.
  24. Rep. Frederica Wilson (D). Yes.
  25. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R). Yes.
  26. Rep. Joe Garcia (D). Yes.
  27. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R). Yes.

The Affordable Care Act, which opponents dubbed Obamacare, emerged virtually unscathed from the fracas. Republicans had sought to kill it by removing its funding or at least delay the implementation of its major features on Jan. 1.
The most contentious: The "individual mandate," a requirement that most Americans who don't already have health insurance through an employer, Medicare or some other route obtain it.

One way to obtain it is to enroll through the Health Insurance Marketplace that the federal government built after 36 states, including Florida, voted not to build their own. The Marketplace officially opened on Oct. 1, but has too many glitches at this point to use easily. Those are still being sorted out.

On the exchange, the federal government will provide subsidies to those with household incomes of between 100 and 400 percent of the poverty level. A majority of uninsured Floridians will qualify for subsidies, federal officials say.

The Associated Press offers more details on Wednesday's events in Washington. 

Fox News published a breakdown of votes by state.