By a vote of 53-36, the Baucus Amendment to the bill Speaker Pelosi used as a vehicle for the House's passage of the bill failed this morning in the Senate. It got no GOP votes, with Feingold, Manchin, Nelson (NE), Lieberman and Webb dissenting (And according to McConnell, those 5 out of the 58 in the are "many Democrats".
The 11 non-votes were all from Republicans.
It actually did better than I expected. I thought the likes of Bayh, Lincoln, Landrieu, Pryor, Conrad and Baucus surely would have voted no. Two of them are leaving or course, but Baucus offered the amendment. That's a good look.
The Senate this morning is considering two amendments: the Baucus Amendment, which does what theHouse amendment does (extend the middle class tax cuts), in addition to a one year extension of unemployment benefits and a few other things. The other is the Schumer Amendment, which would raise the threshold to one million dollars, essentially creating a "Millionaire's Tax Bracket." That second vote has not yet taken place.
Just some back ground on what's going on. Some time ago, the House passed an air safety bill that was sent to the Senate, who returned the bill to the House with changes. The House never acted on it until a few days ago, when Speaker Pelosi showed her legislative prowess: after originally planning to introduce a bill under suspension (which would have failed under the 2/3 threshold) and introducing a bill under regular rules (which could have failed a motion to recommit), she attached the middle class tax cut to the safety bill. Because it already passed the House, it could not be recommitted and could be brought up for a simple majority vote. Genius.
The House has now sent the bill back to the Senate for the second time. And as stated earlier, the Senate is acting on it this morning.
More as the story unfolds.
On a somewhat side not, Leader Reid just announced on the floor that he will be filing for cloture on the 9/11 Responders, Seniors' COLA and the DREAM Act on Tuesday for a Wednesday vote.
Schumer Amendment voting currently underway.
Manchin, Nelson, Webb flipped for this one. Feingold and Lieberman still no, joined by Durbin, Harkin and Rockefeller. Failed 53-37.
While it certainly sucks to have lost, we finally got what we needed - a clear distinction of who stand with the middle class and who doesn't. This week, 230 of the 251 Republicans in Congress voted to raise taxes on middle class, many of whom will stand for election in two years. The ads should write themselves.
MARY LANDRIEU JUST DESTROYED MITCH MCCONNELL ON THE SENATE FLOOR. Mitch McConnell, after saying the vote was a charade and that the Democrats didn't really care about the middle class. He said we were acting in bad faith, and when asked to yield for a question by Landrieu, he promptly left the chamber. Well she asked her question anyway.
She basically called him out on saying WE didn't really care when "over the past couple days, the Presdient has acted in good faith to reach a deal with you, and you came to the table after just weeks prior saying your number one goal was to defeat him. I just wanted to ask him how he felt about that." Thank you, Senator. Good question.
An even bigger side note, just wanted to get the info out there: former Senator Mark Dayton (D-MN) has been declared the next Governor of Minnesota.
Interesting point: Schumer just noted that the measures failed by 53 votes each time, but the five dissenters were different each time.
Baucus - Manchin, Nelson, Webb, Feingold, Lieberman
Schumer - Durbin, Rockefeller, Harkin, Feingold, Lieberman
The only two people that voted against both measures? Feingold and Lieberman. Feingold took a principled stance because he wants them all to expire. So yet again, we have Joe Lieberman bucking the party that he claimed to be with on everything but the war. 2012 can't come fast enough.