As you may have heard by now, the Senate voted in favor of cloture, and to send their version of health care reform to the Senate floor for debate. The vote for cloture was 60-39.
Before you panic too much, please remember that the bill must still pass the a final vote in the Senate, then, if it does, it must be reconciled in conference with the House version that passed and then the final bill must then pass another vote of the House as well as a cloture vote and final passage within the Senate.
The fight is far from over, but let’s look at the vote which took place this evening. In order to invoke cloture, sixty Senators must for it. As you see above the vote was just 60. To tell the truth, I was shocked. I thought for sure at least one Democrat would defect, or at the very least, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) would.
Sen. Lieberman has stated, more than once, that he would support a filibuster of the bill if it contained a public option. The bill tonight contained that option, so I was very upset with Mr. Lieberman. I still am. He made it clear, or at least made it seem that way, in many media outlets that he would not vote the way he did tonight, yet his communication with his constituents tells a completely different story.
Some have asked about my remarks regarding votes on health care reform on the Senate floor. When the bill comes to the Senate floor, I am planning to vote to allow debate to begin on the bill, which in this instance will require 60 votes. I very much look forward to debating the various aspects of this critical legislation and voting on proposed amendments. If, however, when the subsequent motion to limit debate time on the bill is voted on, with a 60-vote requirement for that motion to succeed, I will not vote in favor of that motion if the bill at that time includes a public option, for the reasons stated above.
It seems he was straight up with his constituents, which is good, but he sure misled the remainder of the American people, didn’t he?
A few Democrats had indicated that they would not support the bill if it contained a public option as well, and every single one of them toed the party line. I don’t know why any Senator would vote to begin debate, let alone vote to support this bill, when a vast majority of Americans do not want this bill to pass.
The approval rating for this bill is far below that of President Obama, which just happens to have dropped below 50% this week also.
It’s just a shame that Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Ben Nelson (D-FL) and every other Democrat in the Senate put their loyalty to Harry Reid over their loyalty to their constituents tonight. That action alone speaks volumes.
With the success of this cloture vote, Harry Reid accomplished two tasks. He showed the people of Nevada (which is my home state) how much he listens to and appreciates their opinions, and he showed the rest of the United States that he is better at bribing, and coercing his party members in the Senate than Nancy Pelosi is with her members in the House.