The Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S.1323, a sense of the Senate bill that states that people making $1 million or more per year should share the sacrifice of deficit reduction.
In our previous description (http://ow.ly/5yBX8) of the bill's chances and political context, we said that it would most likely fail on a party line vote, thereby allowing the Democrats to say that Republicans defend the interests of millionaires in the deficit debate. In this post, we'll tell you why our assessment of the previous vote was wrong, what to expect on any forthcoming votes, and show you the results from the first vote (on the cloture motion on the motion to proceed to this bill).
Why We Got The First Vote Wrong
We predicted that the bill would fail on the first vote because the debate on whether taxing millionaires should be on the table has consistently put Democrats and Republicans against each other. Since the previous vote was a cloture motion on the motion to proceed - which requires 60 votes to pass and ends debate on the matter on which it was invoked - at least 7 Republicans would have had to join all 53 Democrats for the bill to succeed. Since this would most likely have had to include every moderate Republican and some conservatives, we thought this was impossible.
In fact, the initial vote was 74-22 in favor, with 4 not voting. This showed substantial Republican support. What we didn't account for was that Republicans would vote for the initial cloture motion to have a debate on the issue. Senator Mitch McConnell, the Minority Leader, clearly stated his intention to vote in the affirmative for this reason.
What This Means For Future Votes
In order to go to a bill on the legislative calendar, you either need unanimous consent or a successful motion to proceed to the consideration of the bill. The motion to proceed is debatable. The successful cloture motion last week started a timetable to end debate on that motion to proceed. The motion to proceed will come to a vote at 5:30pm today. If that succeeds, there will be a debate. Republicans can, and probably will, offer amendments. There will then be another 60-vote cloture motion, this time to terminate the actual consideration of the measure. If that succeeds, there will be a final vote on passage.
The number of Republicans supporting the bill should grow fewer in number with each vote. The real action on the bill will come on any amendments Republicans offer and whether Republicans vote down the final cloture vote or allow the bill to move to a final vote.
Initial Vote Results
Vote Results, Cloture Motion On The Motion To Proceed To S.1323
The final vote was 74 yeas, 24 nays, 4 not voting
First, a list of people voting for:
All Democrats except Ben Nelson, who voted no. Three Democrats (Jon Tester, Patrick Leahy, Tom Harkin) were necessarily absent. The following Republicans voted for cloture: Lamar Alexander (TN), Scott Brown (MA), Dan Coats (IN), Thad Cochran (MS), Susan Collins (ME), Bob Corker (TN), John Cornyn (TX), Lindsey Graham (SC), Chuck Grassley (IA), John Hoeven (ND), Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX), Mike Johanns (NE), Mark Kirk (IL), Jon Kyl (AZ), Dick Lugar (IN), John McCain (AZ), Mitch McConnell (KY), Jerry Moran (KS), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Pat Roberts (KS), Jeff Sessions (AL), Richard Shelby (AL), Olympia Snowe (ME), John Thune (SD), David Vitter (LA).
The rest of the Republicans, minus Richard Burr (NC, necessarily absent) voted against cloture along with Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska.
Other National Debt Posts:
Why The Gang of Six Proposal Has The Best Chance of Passing the House and Senate