Senate Showdown on Lobbying, Ethics, and Earmarks


Update: 80-17 in the affirmative, the bill has cleared the 66 vote threshold needed for cloture. Republican dissenters could only muster 17 votes against cloture. Those voting against cloture, I'm missing two names here, were Sens. Allard, Bennett, Brownback, Bunning, Burr, Coburn, Cochran, Cornyn, Craig, Crapo, DeMint, Graham, Inhofe, Lott, and McCain. The full Senate will vote at 1:50 pm to pass the bill. (The two names I missed were Sens. Ensign and Kyl.)

The Senate is debating S.1 now as some Republicans have declared their outright opposition to the bill and their intent to stop it. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) is leading the charge against the bill, along with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), claiming that the bill has gutted earmark reforms and is "business as usual." The bill, which changes Senate rules, requires 66 votes to pass cloture (the 2/3s majority requirement is based on the number of present Senators and thus is 66 and not 67 because of the absence of Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD)). So far, Sens. DeMint, Coburn, Trent Lott (R-MS), and Ted Stevens (R-AK) have voiced opposition to the bill. Other Senators who have publicly criticized the bill or who have been involved in strategy sessions with DeMint and Coburn include Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Richard Burr (R-NC). The cloture vote is happening now, I'll update soon.