Sen. Pat Toomey voted against an amendment on Thursday that would have given veterans in same-sex marriages better access to equal health benefits.
Toomey, along with forty-one other Senators, blocked Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s (D-NH) amendment to the Military Construction Authorization Act. The amendment aimed to “revise the definition of spouse for purposes of veterans benefits” to recognize each state’s definition as the standard for awarding health benefits.
PA’s same-sex marriage ban was ruled unconstitutional in May 2014 by a George W. Bush-appointed judge.
No Democrats voted against the amendment, while 8 Republicans broke party ranks to vote in favor. Among them were Senators Ayotte (R-NH), Johnson (R-WI), Portman (R-OH) and Kirk (R-IL), who are running for re-election in blue states in 2016.
Altogether, four GOP Senators from states Barack Obama won in 2008 and 2012 voted against the bill: Toomey, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Cory Gardner (R-CO). Toomey and Grassley are the only ones up for re-election next year.