EDITOR OF REDSTATE
If A Senator Votes for Cloture, She is Voting to Pass Health Care
There is a study out today that is damaging to the Democrats efforts to pass health care in the Senate.
On Saturday, when constituents cannot contact their Senators’ offices because they’ll be closed, the United States Senate will vote on a cloture motion to debate the health care legislation.
This is important — a vote in favor of cloture on the motion to proceed (a parliamentary issue) is, in effect, a vote for the health care legislation. Why? Because Harry Reid has enough votes to pass the health care legislation by a simple majority, but he does not have the 60 votes necessary to proceed to debate, any Senator voting for cloture is voting for the health care plan.
Roll Call reports that according to the Congressional Research Service, “[a] study of Senate voting patterns shows the chamber has approved more than 97 percent of all bills subject to a cloture motion to begin debate — a finding that could undercut Democratic efforts to paint a key health care vote on Saturday as procedural.”
In fact, “since 1999 the Senate has approved 97.6 percent of all bills when lawmakers first voted to begin debate.”
Some Senators, like Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, want the health care legislation to pass, but know politically she would lose if she voted for it. So unless pressure is brought to bear on her and others, she may vote “yes” on cloture for the motion to proceed and then try to hide behind a no vote later.
We cannot let that happen. Call your two Senators all day today and demand they vote no on the motion to proceed. The phone number to call is 202-224-3121.