1. ROLL CALL

    Senate Kills Contraception Bill

    In this Feb. 28, 2012, photo, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., talks to reporters following a Republicans strategy session at the Capitol in Washington. The Senate is debating Republican legislation aimed at taking a bite out of President Barack Obama’s health care law. The measure, sponsored by Blunt, would allow insurers and employers to opt out of any requirements to which they object on moral or religious grounds. That includes the recently rewritten policy that shifts the cost of contraceptive coverage to insurers. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

    The Senate voted 51–48 to defeat a “conscience” amendment that would allow employers to opt out of health-care coverage they find objectionable for religious or moral reasons. The Respect for Rights of Conscience Act was proposed by Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri as a pushback to the Obama administration’s mandate for birth-control coverage. Centrists played their cards close to their vests right up to the moment of the vote, with Republicans like Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine saying she felt the legislation needed to be more focused. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski said the Senate should be focusing its attention on other issues, such as energy policy. The measure was opposed by the vast majority of Democrats.

    Read it at National Journal