More Democrats defected on the House's first anti-Obamacare bill of 2014 than on any other Obamacare-related vote to date, a blow to party unity and leadership's advice that rank-and-file members stand strong against GOP "gotcha" bills.
The legislation, which would require victims of security breaches through the HealthCare.gov insurance exchanges to be notified within two days, passed 291-122. Sixty-seven Democrats joined Republicans to vote for the bill.
Democratic leaders were expecting defections from the rank and file, particularly from more moderate and vulnerable incumbents. But it wasn't immediately clear whether they were expecting fractures of this magnitude. Even the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman, Steve Israel, D-N.Y., voted for the bill. Democratic leaders had encouraged a "no" vote.
While Republicans called the measure "good government" and "common sense," many Democrats called it a political stunt that would put undue administrative burden on administration officials. Democrats also said the bill functions as a scare tactic against using the website when security breaches have never been a problem.
But there wasn't a formal whip operation, said Democratic leadership aides, suggesting that they didn't necessarily believe the bill was a lost cause in terms of party unity but that it was simply, in the words of one staffer, "a waste of time."
You can find the full breakdown of the vote here.