Senate Republicans launched an attempt to attach a series of amendments Wednesday to legislation expanding the recently enacted health care reform law - part of a GOP pledge to use every parliamentary tool available to undermine the measure.
The amendments also are designed to force Democrats to cast unpopular votes in the runup to this November's midterm elections. Senate Democrats easily defeated the first of the amendments, which challenged provisions in the bill involving changes to Medicare funding.
The Democrats' so-called "fixes" bill was necessary to get a reluctant House of Representatives to pass the Senate's health care reform measure Sunday night.
The House's narrow approval of the measure allowed President Barack Obama to sign it into law Tuesday - giving the president a victory on his signature domestic issue. But in return, House Democrats are now expecting the Senate to sign off on the compromises included in the fixes bill.