DeWine joins Dems on health amendments

Ohio Sen. Mike DeWine broke ranks seven times with his fellow Republicans on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, voting for Democratic amendments to a bill on small-business health insurance.

The other 10 Republicans on the committee opposed the amendments, which failed on 10-10 votes. DeWine voted against 10 other amendments that failed 11-9, on party lines.

The seven Democratic amendments DeWine voted for were on issues affecting women's health, infant health, clinical trials, autism and disease prevention. They were offered by Sens. Tom HarkinTom HarkinGrassley challenger no stranger to defying odds Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream Do candidates care about our health or just how much it costs? MORE (Iowa), Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), Patty MurrayPatty MurrayElection-year politics: Senate Dems shun GOP vulnerables Congress approves .1B in Zika funds Lawmakers pledge push for cures bill in lame-duck MORE (Wash.) and Chris Dodd (Conn.).

"We weren't supersurprised because Senator Harkin and Senator DeWine have a history of working together on [disease] prevention," Harkin spokeswoman Allison Dobson said.

However, a Democratic Senate aide said Ohio chapters of national healthcare advocacy groups pressured DeWine, who faces a tough election race against Rep. Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownOvernight Finance: Lawmakers float criminal charges for Wells Fargo chief | Scrutiny on Trump's Cuba dealings | Ryan warns of recession if no tax reform Anti-trade senators say chamber would be crazy to pass TPP Democrats press Wells Fargo CEO for more answers on scandal MORE (D-Ohio). DeWine's office did not return calls.

The committee approved the GOP bill 11-9 on a party-line vote.