The Washington Times - November 10, 2009, 04:24PM

Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao may become synonym on Capitol Hill for “lonely vote.”  During the narrow passage of the House’s healthcare reform bill on Saturday, Cao was the only House Republican to vote in favor of the bill.

Cao is a Louisiana freshman congressman residing over a resoundingly Democratic congressional district that includes New Orleans.  He came to office last year by defeating nine-term incumbent Rep. William Jefferson after Jefferson was indicted on federal corruption charges.  Jefferson was later convicted on federal bribery charges after the FBI found $90,000 dollars in his freezer.


The Times-Picayune reports that Cao was heavily lobbied by the Obama White House, but his ultimate decision hinged on abortion legislation associated with the bill.

“Ultimately, after nearly a dozen hours of debate on the controversial health-care plan, the House approved, 240-194, an amendment sponsored by Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., and endorsed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, that bans the use of public money to pay for or subsidize most abortions.

“With that vote, Cao was able to vote in favor of the final bill, which he did — waiting, for added drama, until near the end of the 15-minute roll-call vote.”

How Cao’s vote determines his political future is undetermined. However, he insists he still has the support of the Republican party.

Unrelated to this story: upon arriving home after voting on the reform bill in Washington, Cao was forced to pull his family in a canoe to their home after a storm flooded the area. His home was not harmed.

Louisiana Bloggers comment:

Red Stick Rant: The Rep. Joseph Cao “one vote” theme song. Party or district, Cao doesn’t quite fit.

“It’s been quite a year for U.S. Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao. Twelve months ago, he was still largely unknown in the congressional district he would soon be elected to represent, under the most flukish of circumstances.

“…This weekend’s health-care reform showdown, in which Cao cast the lone GOP vote for the House Democrats’ bill, completed his transformation to one of the most famous Republicans in America, at least for a few days. In the context of national party politics, Cao’s break with his party was a very big deal. In light of Cao’s own politics, though, it made perfect sense.”

New Orleans Ladder: “Man with balls lives here.”

“In the end, satisfied that the House health care reform bill would not subsidize abortions, Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao, R-New Orleans, voted “yes” late Saturday night, making him the only Republican in the House to vote for a bill that passed 220-215.”

CenLamar: Facebook sample offers remarks to Cao on the newly-formed Bye Bye Joseph Cao group.

“Almost immediately after Joseph Cao became the only Republican in the House of Representatives (and the only Louisiana Congressman) to vote for health care reform, he was bombarded with some incredibly vicious vitriol, ostensibly from fellow Republicans who felt betrayed.”

Liprap’s Lament – The Line: “So nice that Joseph Cao voted for “life” and against his party lines.

“Even more lovely is the list of 65 Democrats who decided to add the amendment Cao supported with that yea vote…and they have all redrawn the lines of health care reform over women’s reproductive rights.”

Adrastos: A pleasant surprise.

“Given his previous pattern of saying that he *might*  vote for various Obama administration bills and then voting with the GOP, I didn’t expect Congressman Cao to vote aye on health care reform. I’m pleasantly surprised that he did the politically wise thing (for him) and voted for the House bill.”

Cliff’s Crib: Cao honorary New Orleans Saint?

“My MVP is congressman Joseph Cao who has the distinction of being the one politician that actually voted yes for a health care plan that would benefit the majority of his district. The reality is that he’s representing a district that was not created for a man like him to serve.”

Your Right Hand Thief: Cao Bucks GOP Whip.

Suspect Device: The Blog: Charlie Melancon didn’t vote for health care, but Joseph Cao did.

“It’s called character, Charlie. Character and balls and a conscience. You should look into these things. Perhaps a lobbyist will buy you some.”

And So it Goes in Shreveport: One is the Loneliest Number.

“Cao is from Louisiana. The moment I realized he was the lone Republican vote, I was embarrassed to be from Louisiana. But then I thought of Congressman Fleming and I felt a little better. At least Cao isn’t my district. Not much solace.”

We Could Be Famous: Rep. Cao steps up.

“Though I am pro-choice and proud, the Congressman is clearly passionate about his side of that endless debate and at the very least, I respect the consistency with which he couched his reservations about healthcare reform in terms of the language around abortion.”

Red Stick Rant: All your freedoms are belong to us.

“Queen Nancy gets her way.

“The GOP gets a winning cause.

“And Rep. Joseph Cao gets to find out that one is the loneliest number.”

Quote of the Day:

“I remain, however, skeptical of [Cao’s] future willingness to break with his caucus unless Rahm sits on him, stuffs him in a locker or gives him a swirly.”