Gov. Dave Heineman (R-NE) issued a statement after the buying off of Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE). As Heineman is a politician, I expected he would engage in some obfuscation in order to provide himself some cover. Reading Heineman, however, the Governor unequivocally says the "deal" was all Nelson:
"Nebraskans did not ask for a special deal, only a fair deal. Under no circumstances did I have anything to do with Senator (Ben) Nelson's compromise. I, along with governors all across America, have expressed concern about the unfunded Medicaid mandate. I have said all along that this bill is bad news for Nebraska and bad news for America. Additionally, I criticized Senator (Harry) Reid when he got a special deal for Nevada that didn't apply uniformly to all states. Senator Nelson negotiated this special deal, rather than a fair deal for both Nebraska and America. The responsibility for this special deal lies solely on the shoulders of Senator Ben Nelson."
Good man, that Gov. Heineman.
So where are we in all this? The result of the payoff by "john" Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) to his new male hooker buddy Nelson was that Reid's Manager's Amendment passed on a strictly party-line vote, 60-40. Per Gabe, the following has to happen:
- An up-or-down vote on the Manager's Amendment (simply majority; to take place around 30 hours after the cloture vote)
- Since the Manager's Amendment amends an amendment that is a substitute of the bill that was originally received, a cloture vote on the substitute amendment is needed (60 votes required; expect Sen. McConnell (R-KY) require another full reading before the vote)
- If cloture passes (don't expect otherwise), an up-or-down vote on the substitute amendment will occur about 30 hours after that (simple majority)
- Assuming that passes (and it will), the substitute amendment becomes the new bill; another cloture vote will be required (60 votes required; again, expect McConnell require another full reading before the vote)
- Once there is cloture, an up-or-down vote will be taken on the full bill around 30 hours after cloture (simple majority)
Per Gabe, Reid is expecting to have this all done by around 7:00pm on Christmas Eve. I'm assuming that includes the time McConnell will require full readings of both the substitute amendment and the new full bill prior to the respective cloture votes for those things.
Despite the rumblings from even the most virulent statist Democrats, they, like Nelson, still voted for cloture on this. I have no doubt they will tow the party line and vote for cloture every other time on this travesty.
Gabe has a sentiment at the end of his post that can't be repeated here.