No surprise, but still darned sweet.
Speaking now on the Senate floor, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) says he is “sorry and disappointed” to announce that he does not have the votes for the omnibus spending package. Instead, he will work with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) to draft a temporary continuing resolution to fund the government into early next year.
Reid says nine Republican senators approached him today to tell him that while they would like to see the bill passed, they could not vote for it. He did not reveal the names of the nine. A top Senate source tells National Review Online that “it looks like Harry Reid buckled under the threat of Republicans reading [the bill] aloud.”
The mood among conservatives on Twitter and inside the GOP caucus is sheer exultation, from McConnell declaring this a “victory for the country” to McCain calling it a “seminal moment” to Philip Klein at AmSpec pronouncing it a triumph — albeit an early and incomplete one — for the tea party. Remember, when the bill was first released a few days ago, there were reportedly at least four Republicans thinking of voting for it, including two retirees in Bennett and Voinovich. Having nothing to lose, they’re presumably still onboard, which means this must have crashed and burned because red-state Democrats got nervous about it. McCaskill was opposed early on, and I assume Tester, Nelson, and the usual suspects must have been jittery too. The question now: To make it up to Reid, did they promise to vote yes on another piece of legislation still to come in the lame duck? Like, say, the DREAM Act?
For your amusement, here are McCain and Mark Kirk taking a few moments on the Senate floor to grind Reid’s face in this failure. Click the image to watch.
Update: The gray lining in this silver cloud for most conservatives? With the spending bill off the agenda, Reid now has time to bring “don’t ask, don’t tell” to the floor for a vote. That bill and the DREAM Act are now slated to hit the floor on Saturday.