Politics makes strange bedfellows.
When the House of Representatives voted Monday night on a continuing resolution to fund the government and avoid a shutdown, GOP leaders once again attached an amendment that would have delayed the implementation of the individual mandate in Obamacare for a year. The measure passed, 228-201 mostly along party lines, with 12 Republicans voting against it and nine Democrats voting "aye."
One of those "yes" votes belonged to Democratic Congressman Raul Ruiz of Palm Springs.
The freshman representative, who also is a medical doctor, said in a statement that Congress should have — "and could have" — voted on a routine budget without "political gamesmanship." Instead, he said, House Republican leaders chose to "hold the budget hostage to a political agenda." While Ruiz said the process is deeply flawed, he decided to "reach across the aisle to put people first."
Ruiz called the government shutdown "a manufactured crisis that could have been avoided."
Ruiz was the only California Democrat to vote with the House GOP. He was absent from Tuesday morning's Democratic caucus meeting.
Correction: An earlier version of this story stated incorrectly that the GOP amendment Ruiz supported was to defund the entire Affordable Care Act. He actually voted to delay the individual mandate by a year. The story has been updated accordingly.