July 18, 2007

Reed-Levin Cloture Going Down To Defeat

Harry Reid can't even tire the Senate into voting for cloture. The Levin-Reed bill has only received 52 votes to end debate, even after the insomnia festival that Reid staged last night. As expected, the Democrats wound up the debate with the same number in support that they had when it started.

The final vote will show 53 votes in favor of cloture, and the Republican caucus largely united against the Congressional incursion on executive powers. Even moderate Republicans like Arlen Specter, George Voinovich, and Chuck Grassley could not support a declaration of defeat from the Senate. The publicity stunt has failed.

UPDATE: Reid changed his vote at the end, so cloture failed 52-47. He called the bill "bipartisan", but it looks like all of the GOP except Chuck Hagel voted against it. It's an odd sense of the term "bipartisan," but then again, Reid hasn't exactly put on an intellectual tour de force so far this session as Majority Leader.

UPDATE II: Just to answer a question that's come up in the comments, Reid's vote change does not represent a flip-flop. The Majority Leader has to vote against cloture in order to have the opportunity to ask for reconsideration of the motion later, according to parliamentary rules. It's a common procedural step, one that Bill Frist used as well, and for the same reasons.

UPDATE IIa: As you can see from the vote breakdown, Reid got 4 Republican votes, three of whom pledged to support the bill earlier: Hagel, Olympia Snowe, Gordon Smith, and Susan Collins, who said she opposed the bill but wanted an up-or-down vote. Thanks to Jim C for the correction.

UPDATE III: Here's the vote breakdown:

YEAs ---52

Akaka (D-HI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Biden (D-DE)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Byrd (D-WV)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Clinton (D-NY)
Collins (R-ME)
Conrad (D-ND)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Hagel (R-NE)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lincoln (D-AR)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Obama (D-IL)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Salazar (D-CO)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schumer (D-NY)
Smith (R-OR)
Snowe (R-ME)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Webb (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)

NAYs ---47

Alexander (R-TN)
Allard (R-CO)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Coleman (R-MN)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Dole (R-NC)
Domenici (R-NM)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lott (R-MS)
Lugar (R-IN)
Martinez (R-FL)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Reid (D-NV)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Specter (R-PA)
Stevens (R-AK)
Sununu (R-NH)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Warner (R-VA)


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Comments (13)

Posted by marvin | July 18, 2007 10:43 AM

President 25% approval
Congress 13% approval

Democrats have forgotten the ancient truth:
Winners never quit;
Quitters never win.

Republicans remembered

Posted by Philip | July 18, 2007 10:44 AM

Isn't it time for Harry and The Defeatists to admit they have it wrong, that the American people disagree with them and that it is time to win this war?

Posted by Anthony (Los Angeles) | July 18, 2007 11:02 AM

What Reid, his fellow Copperheads, and the Republican geldings like Lugar forget is that the American public didn't vote in 2006 against the fight in iraq per se, but against a war being poorly fought by the Administration. If Reid and his allied surrender-monkeys think the American public wants defeat and the massacres it will entail, they're more dimwitted than Cindy Sheehan.

Posted by mer | July 18, 2007 11:13 AM

"Reid changed his vote at the end"

He doesn't even have the fortitude to vote for it?

Posted by Rovin | July 18, 2007 11:20 AM

I loved the Casa Blanca comment by the minority leader. "Gambling in Casa Blanca?"
Our friends on the left gambling with so many lives for political gain is again a stain on this nations resolve.

Hopefully this will be the last we hear of defeatism while our military runs al queda out of Iraq during this surge. And then a portion of our brave soldiers can return home with honor.

Posted by Lamont P | July 18, 2007 11:20 AM

What ever happened to the concept of an up-and-down vote, deemed to be so important last year when Republicans had a majority (but fewer than 60)?

And when was the last time that either party had a respected Senate leader?

Posted by MarkW | July 18, 2007 11:39 AM


By voting against it, Reid preserves his right to call the bill back at a later date.

It's a standard parliamentary maneuver, I remember when the Republican leader took some heat for doing the same thing.

Posted by mer | July 18, 2007 11:44 AM

MarkW, thanks. My knowledge of "parliamentary maneuvering" is pretty slim.

Posted by viking01 | July 18, 2007 11:55 AM

I give Harry Reid credit for truly being representative of his hippie Liberal Democrat constituency:

Staying up all night doing nothing.

Posted by LarryD | July 18, 2007 12:42 PM

LamontP, this is the context that filibusters have been used in since they were started. Unlike Judicial Appointments.

Posted by Del Dolemonte | July 18, 2007 1:14 PM

viking01 said:

"I give Harry Reid credit for truly being representative of his hippie Liberal Democrat constituency:

Staying up all night doing nothing."

I'm not so sure there are that many hippies in Harry's home town of Searchlight-the total population of the town is less than 600 people! 95 percent of whom are white...

Posted by onlineanalyst | July 18, 2007 4:18 PM

Not only did "Pinky" Reid miss out on a few hours of his own slumber party, but he has also pulled the Defense Authorization Bill. (Is he taking the marbles that he has lost and going home? That'll show everybody!)

Stephen Spruiell says it better:
"In a fit of pique after losing a cloture vote on the Levin-Reed amendment, Harry Reid pulled the entire Defense Authorization Bill from the Senate floor.

"That's ok. I'm sure our troops' pay raises can wait while Harry Reid repairs his wounded pride."

Posted by Borg Queen | July 18, 2007 4:35 PM

"President 25% approval
Congress 13% approval"

The President's approval rating is twice as high as that of Congress? I love it!