Collins a no, Lieberman a miss on DISCLOSE vote; Update: Brown says no; Update: Snowe says no — and Feinstein, too; Update: Cloture fails, 57-41

posted at 12:55 pm on July 27, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Harry Reid wanted to push the DISCLOSE Act through the Senate today in a last-ditch effort to get the badly flawed campaign finance bill passed before Congress goes into recess.  Fortunately, it appears that the effort may be heading for the ditch.  Susan Collins (R-ME) declared last night that she would oppose the bill, ending the last hope of getting Republican support for the cloture vote:

On a conference call with reporters today, Sen. Chuck Schumer said he’s “working very hard on getting a Republican” to support his version of the campaign-finance reform bill known as the Disclose Act.  He added that “there are a number of possibilities.”

But with the measure slated for a Senate vote tomorrow, he can cross Sen. Susan Collins of Maine off his list of potential supporters.   Collins said through a spokesman this afternoon that she will not support the bill in its current form.

“The bill would provide a clear and unfair advantage to unions, while either shutting other organizations out of the election process or subjecting them to onerous reporting requirements that would not apply to unions,” Collins’ press secretary Kevin Kelley told ABC News.

“Senator Collins also believes that it is ironic that a bill aimed at curtailing special interests in the election process provides so many carve outs and exemptions that favor some grassroots organizations over others. This too is simply unfair.”

There doesn’t appear to be anyone who would take Collins’ place.  Now, according to The Corner, Schumer can’t even count on all of his own caucus for support.  Joe Lieberman (I-CT) will miss the cloture vote, making it near impossible for Reid and Schumer to get cloture.

What next?  As The Hill reports, Reid and Obama need this bill to pacify the Left:

While conservative grassroots enthusiasm has spawned the Tea Party movement, liberal activists have lodged a list of disappointments with their party, including the collapse of the public healthcare option and climate change legislation, the decision to boost troop levels in Afghanistan and the continued operation of the Guantánamo Bay prison camp.

The campaign finance bill is a top concern for liberals, who want lawmakers to take a strong stand against corporate special interests, such as health insurance companies, investment banks and oil companies.

Except, of course, that the bill is filled with exceptions to the restrictions.  Unions and establishment interest groups won’t have to deal with the DISCLOSE Act’s limitations, but newer grassroots organizations will have to live within its boundaries.  It’s a shameless pander to unions and big special interest groups, and is almost certainly unconstitutional anyway.  It’s best aspect is that it’s an appeasement to the Democratic base that has angrily denounced their leadership.

If Lieberman is a no show, Reid will have to pull the bill back.  It’s doubtful that it will come back again before the election if he does, but vigilance will be necessary to ensure its defeat.

Update: Lindsey Graham’s also a no, via the Boss Emeritus.

Update II: The Daily Caller has more on Lieberman’s absence:

Lieberman is attending a funeral service and will not be in Washington, spokeswoman Erika Masonhall said.

The odds of passage for DISCLOSE were already low, with all Republicans but one — Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine — certain to vote against it. But there was still hope for some on the left that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, would be able to pull together the votes.

But Lieberman’s absence means that even if Snowe were to vote for the bill, Reid would still be one vote short.

Update III: Scott Brown announced his opposition on Twitter.

Update IV: This should put a stake through the heart of DISCLOSE:

Moderate Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, just told reporters she will not support proceeding with debate on a campaign finance bill, known as the DISCLOSE Act, a move that signals the end of the road for this legislation for now.

Complaining that there have been “no hearings, no vetting, no attempt to bring people together,” Snowe touted her own past work on the issue and added, “I know the new routine on legislation these days is to ram and jam…but it really does take time…It really does require building a consensus.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, a gun control advocate, said she will support Democratic leaders’ effort to start debate on the legislation, but spokesman Gil Duran says the senator will not support the bill on final passage. And Feinstein told reporters moments ago that if today’s vote were one to shut off debate and move to final passage, she, too, would be a ‘no’ vote.

Feinstein would oppose it?  Dude, it’s dead.

Update (AP): Graham, Collins, Brown, and Snowe answer the bell and a united GOP front sends DISCLOSE down to defeat, 57-41. Can I get a “whoooooa RINOS”?

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Here’s what Schumer said: “And we will go back at this bill again and again and again until we pass it.”

So, my question: where is the conservative who will jump on remarks like this, who gets “in the face” of liberals like Schumer trying to ram a speech-stifling, self-dealing, unconstitutional bill down America’s throat?

Who is the conservative who gets half as excited about defending free speech as the Left does about destroying it?

I don’t see one. And it’s really making me sick.

rrpjr on July 27, 2010 at 7:56 PM

Looks that way, doesn’t it? Reid was the only (D) Nay vote. from the tally linked at the end of the post.

It might have been accidental, since Reid was a Nay twice on Health Care votes if I recall, only having to scramble back and change his vote before voting closed.

Whatever, I’m just so relieved right now at this outcome.

Edouard on July 27, 2010 at 4:49 PM

I’m a bit rusty on my Senate rules, but if memory serves, that’s a parliamentarian move. It’s easier for a nay vote on cloture to bring it back up for a cloture vote.

steveegg on July 27, 2010 at 8:00 PM


Credit where credit is due: when it counted, the RINOs stuck with the conservatives. In fact, I think the only Republican in either chamber who’s consistently voted with the Dems this year has been Joseph Cao. It’ll be nice to show him the door.

Animator Girl on July 27, 2010 at 8:25 PM

Reid s vote under the arcane rules will let it come up again. This bill needs a stake,silver bullet,and a cross to the heart to keep it dead. Schumer is a master at scummy tricks.
PLEASE/email ,Write the no voters and tell em thanks.

Col.John Wm. Reed on July 27, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Wasn’t RINO Mike Castle of DE a co-sponsor of this bill? I guess I should not be surprised that the polls are lying about this “lead” he has over Christine O’Donnell for Senate in DE.

I’ve had the privilege to speak with her personally and she is the only person for the job.

margategop517 on July 27, 2010 at 8:45 PM

Rinos? They should be called Pilchards or Sardines. How about Pogies. Someone come up with the acronym. They are bait fish because they follow the school with every zig and zag. They are nothing more than a echo chamber of current popular sentiment. If the country is swooning over Obama, then the Pilchards vote thataway. They are worthless, spineless garbage.

pc on July 27, 2010 at 9:14 PM

Update (AP): Graham, Collins, Brown, and Snowe answer the bell and a united GOP front sends DISCLOSE down to defeat, 57-41. Can I get a “whoooooa RINOS”?

Uhm, okay . . . whoooooa RINOS?

Ryan Anthony on July 27, 2010 at 9:46 PM

Update (AP): Graham, Collins, Brown, and Snowe answer the bell and a united GOP front sends DISCLOSE down to defeat, 57-41. Can I get a “whoooooa RINOS”?

You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes, well you might find
You get what you need

I love our RINO Senators. It’s way too authoritarian a vision of politics to not want some party dissidents. And without them, democracy in America would be two competing dictatorships. I doubt the two would compete for long.

thuja on July 27, 2010 at 11:21 PM

Yay RINOS!!! AP FTW! feel better now?

abobo on July 28, 2010 at 1:44 AM

Yeah, why pass it now … the GOP can simply wait until they get control of the senate, if ever, and pass it then … gee, if they were so sure of the big takeovers why not pass it NOW so it’s in place for their repealing run.

Monkei on July 28, 2010 at 11:14 PM