Well, they did it. And by bigger numbers than I expected: Cloture invoked 79-19 (60 vote threshold, there are 54 D, 46 R Senators)
This was the vote that mattered because Harry Reid could only get the 60 votes he needed with Republican help. 25Rs joined 54Ds to end debate on the House bill that defunded ObamaCare.
Conservative House Republicans said this cloture vote was “the same as a vote for ObamaCare itself” in this letter.
The final passage of amended House bill, now funding ObamaCare passed as predicted along the same party lines: 54-44 (50 vote threshold.)
Earlier this week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed optimism that five vulnerable Democratic senators in Red States would vote with Republicans to defeat Reid’s amendment to strip out the Obamacare defunding language. Because God Knows, Democrats don’t walk in lock step (come and get me McCain) when it comes to these crucial votes.
Senator Cruz repeated his filibuster clarion call: It’s Time for the Senate to Listen to the American People:
Senator Sessions: Dems ‘Building A Fortress’ Around Obamacare As Law’s Damage Spreads:
“We have to know that the Affordable Care Act is deeply unsound financially. The President’s promise, repeatedly made, that it would not add one dime to the debt… Is that true? No sir, it’s not true.
This is a hugely unsound new entitlement program that will endanger the financial future of America at a time when we need to quit digging ourselves deeper in debt and begin to work our way out of debt.”
Senator Lee: “The American people will always have the final word”:
Senator Lee makes the final case to defund Obamacare from the Senate floor prior to the cloture vote that would enable Senator Reid to restore Obamacare funding to the House CR with a simple majority.
And the sore winners:
Harry Reid: “Whomped Republicans”, “tea party anarchists” need to “get a life” and talk about something else.
Senator Barbara Mikulski called in to Andrea Mitchell’s MSNBC show, today and wheezed “the reason Ted Cruz stood up and asked for a delay is so that he could have a vote during, uh, today when his, the tea baggers and his tea party were going to watch.”
Just wow, lady.