An amendment drafted by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), using language that Donald Trump used to assure voters he would not cut Medicaid, Medicare or Social Security, won 49 votes Tuesday, with Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) joining every Democrat and independent to vote yes.

Sanders was clear on the purpose of the amendment, one of several messaging efforts that have become part of the 115th Congress’s slow-motion debate over repealing the Affordable Care Act.

“I start off with the premise that what Republicans are proposing is exactly what Americans don’t want,” said Sanders in a Monday interview. “Mr. Trump, throughout his campaign — not once, not twice, but many, many times — made as a cornerstone of that campaign that he was not an ordinary Republican. ‘I’m not with Paul Ryan,’ he said — he mentioned him by name! ‘I’m going to defend Medicaid!’ He said that many, many times, and we’re going to hold him accountable.”

On Tuesday, Sanders tweeted a series of short clips, which his office had been collecting since the election, of Trump saying he would not sign off on entitlement cuts.

Every other voting Republican opposed the amendment, but two missed — Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who was testifying in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), who was in his home state for his brother’s inauguration as a legislator.

The text of the amendment:


(a) Point of Order. — It shall not be in order in the Senate to consider any bill, joint resolution, motion, amendment, amendment between the Houses, or conference report that would —

(1) result in a reduction of guaranteed benefits scheduled under title II of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 401 et seq.);

(2) increase either the early or full retirement age for the benefits described in paragraph (1);

(3) privatize Social Security;

(4) result in a reduction of guaranteed benefits for individuals entitled to, or enrolled for, benefits under the Medicare program under title XVIII of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1395 et seq.); or

(5) result in a reduction of benefits or eligibility for individuals enrolled in, or eligible to receive medical assistance through, a State Medicaid plan or waiver under title XIX of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq.).

(b) Waiver and Appeal. —Subsection

(a) may be waived or suspended in the Senate only by an affirmative vote of three- fifths of the Members, duly chosen and sworn. An affirmative vote of three-fifths of the Members of the Senate, duly chosen and sworn, shall be required to sustain an appeal of the ruling of the Chair on a point of order raised under subsection (a).