As the Senate gets closer to voting on a health care reconciliation bill, the Republican strategy to derail the Democrats' plans is getting creative--and dirty. Their strategy is clear: with Democrats determined to pass a clean bill, Republicans will force them to vote down politically juiced-up amendments, and likely turn them into political ads meant to characterize Dems as sympathetic to sex offenders and fraudsters.
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Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) got it started by filing the first two amendments: one to repeal the 'government takeover of health care,' and another to block federal funding of ACORN (the community organizing group that folded yesterday). Just behind him came Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), who wants to make Democrats vote, among other things, on an amendment that "prohibit[s] the new health care exchanges from providing coverage of Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs to convicted child molesters and rapists." Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) got in on the act, authoring an amendment to strip all special deals out of the health care bill.