Posted on | February 13, 2014 | 51 Comments
What a stinking crock of ObamaCare (emphasis mine):
McConnell and top lieutenant Sen. John Cornyn (Texas) reluctantly backed ending debate after it became clear that no one in their conference wanted to cast the deciding 60th vote.
Sixty votes were needed to overcome a filibuster by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who complained that Congress was raising the debt ceiling without demanding any curbs on Washington’s spending.
With the upper chamber’s Democrats and Independents all voting yes, Senate Republicans needed to muster five votes to overcome Cruz.
Yet during an hour of tense floor conversations, it appeared they might fail.
The vote started late, as Senate Republicans huddled behind closed doors. After meeting for roughly an hour in private, the conference still did not know whether it could conjure up the needed votes.
On the floor, the procedural vote ran on for another hour, with Republicans slow to offer support.
Cornyn and McConnell, who is the most vulnerable Senate Republican up for reelection in 2014, then voted to end the debate, making it clear the procedural motion would be approved.
After their dramatic votes, another group of Republicans met in a room off the Senate floor. They returned, and several switched their votes from no to yes.
Some members said they switched their votes to give cover to McConnell and Cornyn.
“I didn’t want this to come down to just be a criticized vote for just a few of our people. It just wasn’t right,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who fought off a primary challenger in 2012 and is serving his last term.
What’s actually wrong here is that voters have tolerated such an egregious evasion of responsibility for so long. Our representatives, one might have been tempted to think, are elected to do mature, adult work on tough issues like budgets. And here we see a ‘clever’ system whereby the cloture vote is the one that matters, and the simple majority vote on the legislation is an afterthought, so that Senators can do their foul deeds while piously claiming to vote against them.
This pattern is not dissimilar from one a couple thousand years ago involving the Sanhedrin and the Romans.
Why is this November’s election not a sure thing for the GOP? Because it’s entirely unclear that, given majority power again, the GOP would be any less wretched than Reid, Pelosi and crew.
You are correct, Senator Hatch: this wasn’t right, it hasn’t been right for a very long time, and it’s high time we had some no-kidding reform. Would there was a party that could be relied upon to deliver it.