Revealed: Senate clerks didn’t announce names during debt-ceiling vote so that Republicans could secretly switch

posted at 3:21 pm on February 13, 2014 by Allahpundit

If you’ve ever watched a Senate floor vote on C-SPAN, you know how it goes. The senator’s name is called by the clerk, the senator votes, and then the clerk publicly announces how he or she voted. Basic legislative accountability. But not this time.

Because of the midterms, we’re all going to be in unity mode soon. Here’s a little reminder that that unity is an illusion, papered over periodically as necessary for the greater good of keeping liberals out of power. There are two parties within the GOP and some members of one are represented in Congress by members of the other. And on the toughest votes, legislators will go to unusual lengths to try to obscure that fact. Although not always successfully.

Miffed that they have long been asked to take tough votes when the GOP leaders voted ‘no,’ Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski, privately pressured McConnell and Cornyn to vote to break the filibuster, sources said. Murkowski resisted voting for the measure without the support of her leadership team…

A grim-faced McConnell stood next to the white-haired Cornyn, who quietly discussed a way forward with Murkowski, Collins, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and a handful of other senators. Tension filled the room as the vote was kept open for more than an hour. The clerks were informed not to announce the names of the senators who had voted, allowing the leaders to urge senators to switch their votes…

Forty-five minutes into a vote, which typically takes about 15 minutes, Cornyn and McConnell approached the well of the Senate and simultaneously signaled that they would vote “aye.” The press gallery let out an audible gasp. The two men sent their emissaries into the GOP cloakroom to cajole GOP senators to switch their votes to run up the tally and give them political cover…

McConnell urged several Republicans who planned to vote ‘no’ to ultimately switch their votes, including McCain, Orrin Hatch of Utah and Jeff Flake of Arizona and two members of the GOP leadership — John Thune of South Dakota and John Barrasso of Wyoming. Sens. Roy Blunt of Missouri and Jerry Moran of Kansas were the two GOP members of McConnell’s leadership team to vote against it.

Why did McConnell need other Republicans to switch their vote to yes if he, Cornyn, Collins, Murkowski, and Corker were willing to provide the five votes Reid needed to get to 60? Simple: He didn’t need them. He wanted them to switch so that no one could be accused of having provided the decisive 60th vote for cloture. The bigger the Republican crowd voting yes was, in theory the easier it would be for each of them to hide in it. In practice, Politico not only picked up on the clerks’ conspicuous silence, they found out the names of the Republicans who switched under pressure. Now, instead of being guilty of voting for a measure that’s unpopular with the base, they’re guilty and they look sneaky. Can’t anybody here play this game?

I’m really surprised Collins et al. wouldn’t give McConnell and Cornyn a pass on the vote, either. DrewM is right that this is ultimately Ted Cruz’s victory in having forced a cloture vote in the first place — it ended up being a gift to Matt Bevin, McConnell’s challenger in Kentucky — but credit the RINO caucus with an assist in demanding that McConnell and Cornyn jump off the cliff with them. For all the squawking centrists do about how the caucus has grown more “extreme,” making McConnell bite the bullet on this one improved the odds that he’ll be replaced with a more conservative senator. Oh well.

To illustrate the “two parties” point I made above, here’s the new ad from the Senate Conservatives Fund attacking McConnell. Byron York has a long critique of it that’s worth your time, including a reminder that McConnell never called anyone a “traitor,” but factual problems matter as much here as Matt Bevin signing that SEC document that endorsed TARP did. At this point, McConnell’s reelection bid is only partially about McConnell. If you’ve already concluded Mitch Must Go — or Stay — nothing’s going to change your mind now.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Right a multi millionaire who failed to buy insurance on his own private business gets a State bailout from his Democrat Friend. Lets go with that.

Johnnyreb on February 13, 2014 at 4:20 PM

McConnell: $2,200,000,000 from me and every citizen for this country IN ONE BILL to raise the debt ceiling and end the shutdown.

Bevin: $100,000 Grant from the STATE of Connecticut. He couldn’t buy fire insurance because the building was from the 19th century and its layout would not allow it to be insured. He was personally liable and had to remain in the state for 5 years and had to hire 12 new employees or he would have to pay back the state.

NWConservative on February 13, 2014 at 4:29 PM

One. Half- million to go.

(1,6000,000 registered dhimmicRATs in Kentucky.)

davidk on February 13, 2014 at 4:29 PM

This Kentuckian will NEVER vote for Mitch McRINO again. And I’ve voted for him 3 previous times.

ConstantineXI on February 13, 2014 at 4:32 PM

McConnell’s on his TARP vote: “one of the finest moments in the history of the Senate.”

NWConservative on February 13, 2014 at 4:20 PM

That’s different, he also is making other states pay for a needless bridge.

tetriskid on February 13, 2014 at 4:21 PM

That was McConnell talking about his vote for TARP.

NWConservative on February 13, 2014 at 4:34 PM

Is this what you got your panties in a bunch? A Senator helps his constituents?

davidk on February 13, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Right a multi millionaire who failed to buy insurance on his own private business gets a State bailout from his Democrat Friend. Lets go with that.

Johnnyreb on February 13, 2014 at 4:20 PM

Reading comprehension is your friend. I said Senator.

It was Senator Blumenthal who offered to help Bevin Bell Co. when it was burned out. Whether he followed through is anybody’s guess.

davidk on February 13, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Where did you go, Johnnycornpone?

That’s OK. I did say, “Put up or shut up.”

davidk on February 13, 2014 at 4:37 PM

Got to go with McConnell. Bevin has proven by his actions that he is just another rich Democrat looking for the Government to help him out with his problems like he did in Connecticut.

Johnnyreb on February 13, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Thanks for the answer.

What are some of the “stand behind” votes that McConnell has in his history as your representative?

Just to be clear, you’re claiming that Bevin is actually a democrat?

Mimzey on February 13, 2014 at 4:38 PM

The last few polls from RCP from newest to oldest:

McConnell +1
Grimes +4
Tie
McConnell +1
McConnell +4
McConnell +7

Please tell me how an incumbent who has 42-43 percent support now with 60-80 percent name recognition is going to beat an Democrat in November?

NWConservative on February 13, 2014 at 4:43 PM

McConnell really does look like a turtle.

The Ted Cruz filibuster yesterday might just be the straw that breaks McConnell’s back.

bw222 on February 13, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Nothing like “honest” politicians.

GarandFan on February 13, 2014 at 4:58 PM

Kentucky you owe us. Get rid of the turtle. In exchange we in Texas will try to het rid of Cornyn.

neyney on February 13, 2014 at 5:00 PM

The head of the so called Tea Party here in Kentucky is Wendy Caswell is a registered Democrat.

Johnnyreb on February 13, 2014 at 4:06 PM

There are more than a dozen Tea Party groups – the Tea Party Patriots and Tea Party Express being the largest.

These days HA is crawling with trolls and leftists.

bw222 on February 13, 2014 at 5:00 PM

…sluts!

KOOLAID2 on February 13, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Johnnyreb on February 13, 2014 at 4:06 PM

The Tea Party is an extension of the Republican Party, it is grass roots citizens demanding fiscal responsibility and adherence to the Constitution.

Cindy Munford on February 13, 2014 at 5:14 PM

The Tea Party is not an extension of the Republican Party,

Dang it.

Cindy Munford on February 13, 2014 at 5:15 PM

This Kentuckian will NEVER vote for Mitch McRINO again. And I’ve voted for him 3 previous times.

ConstantineXI on February 13, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Not to stir things up (much) but didn’t Mitch manage to get some pork out of the deal where the GOP caved completely in October?

Happy Nomad on February 13, 2014 at 5:18 PM

The Tea Party is not an extension of the Republican Party,
Dang it.
Cindy Munford on February 13, 2014 at 5:15 PM

Whew. You had me worried there for a minute.

LegendHasIt on February 13, 2014 at 5:19 PM

canopfor on February 13, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Well, it didn’t take long…

BabyGrace on February 13, 2014 at 5:22 PM

Not to stir things up (much) but didn’t Mitch manage to get some pork out of the deal where the GOP caved completely in October?

Happy Nomad on February 13, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Yes. 2.2 Billion dollars.

NWConservative on February 13, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Johanns (R-NE) voted for this crap. He is retiring after this term.
He has been a solid conservative for the better part of 6 years…until he decided he wasn’t seeking reelection. I think most Rs are the same way. They only vote conservative if they will be held accountable by the voters. Keep the pressure on thse guys.

At present, I only trust Rand Paul to not abandon his principles like this. I don’t agree with him 100%, but at least I am confident that his votes will follow his publicly stated principles. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are earning my trust as well, but I don’t fully trust them yet. We’ll see what happens when the GOP takes over the Senate. I am confident Rand will still occasionally diverge from leadership, less sure that Cruz and Lee will do so as well.

Still like and respect what all 3 have done up to this point. Not hating by any means.

airupthere on February 13, 2014 at 5:26 PM

At this point, McConnell’s reelection bid is only partially about McConnell. If you’ve already concluded Mitch Must Go — or Stay — nothing’s going to change your mind now.

…true statement!

KOOLAID2 on February 13, 2014 at 5:30 PM

The Ted Cruz filibuster yesterday might just be the straw that breaks McConnell’s back.

bw222 on February 13, 2014 at 4:51 PM

From your keyboard to God’s ear…

Midas on February 13, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Maybe if we are weely quiet no one will no we stabbed them in the back… Uhhh uhh that’s all folks!

Brock Robamney on February 13, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Show the bastards no quarter.

Mr. Grump on February 13, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Can I vote for “NONE OF THE ABOVE”?

Ward Cleaver on February 13, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Revealed: Senate clerks didn’t announce names during debt-ceiling vote so that Republicans could secretly switch

Heh. They’ve borrowed the administration’s definition of transparency.

rukiddingme on February 13, 2014 at 6:27 PM

Quick Note for HotAir RINOs:

“RINO” meaning, of course, those Republicans who whine and cry about the insane/self-destructive conservatives who aren’t Big Fans of debt ceiling increases and liberal GOP tax and spend budgets.

So, I guess you would assume that after the summer’s Cruz-Lee led refusal to play the GOP-Dem debt shuffle, the Democrats must have gained enormously in popularity vs. the hated conservatives. Right?

Huh.

After Demwits led the “Generic Congressional Vote Poll” by 8 points, they now trail by 5. Apparently those polled are too stupid to figure out which party “shut down the government”.

Jaibones on February 13, 2014 at 6:32 PM

Just heard a Cornyn ad today about how he’s “standing up to those in Washington” and “on our side” and “calling Obama on his lies.” I think I threw up in my mouth! That two-faced hypocrite needs to GO!

UnderstandingisPower on February 13, 2014 at 6:41 PM

I’m not so sure they are all cowards. Some may be, but I think a whole bunch are calculating schemers who know exactly what they are doing and what will come of it, and when the financial collapse comes, they’ve made sure to be in a position to ensure it doesn’t affect them and make out like bandits. Which in essence they are.

hawkeye54 on February 13, 2014 at 3:46 PM

.
In addition to lining their pockets and the pockets of their cronies, the GOPe “leadership” is sacrificng any pretense of principles or honor.

When you do that, in my book, you are a COWARD.

Notice, the “leadership” didn’t have any significant resistance working AGAINST their efforts to get people to switch their votes – other than Ted Cruz who FORCED the vote.

PolAgnostic on February 13, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Somehow, they seriously believe (?) that they have to go further into debt to avoid bankrupting us. How does that make sense?

besser tot als rot on February 13, 2014 at 3:51 PM

.
The answer is even more INSANE than you might believe:

What If We Paid Off The Debt? The Secret Government Report

Planet Money has obtained a secret government report outlining what once looked like a potential crisis: The possibility that the U.S. government might pay off its entire debt.

It sounds ridiculous today. But not so long ago, the prospect of a debt-free U.S. was seen as a real possibility with the potential to upset the global financial system.

We recently obtained the report through a Freedom of Information Act Request. You can read the whole thing here. (It’s a PDF.)

The report is called “Life After Debt”. It was written in the year 2000, when the U.S. was running a budget surplus, taking in more than it was spending every year. Economists were projecting that the entire national debt could be paid off by 2012.

This was seen in many ways as good thing. But it also posed risks. If the U.S. paid off its debt there would be no more U.S. Treasury bonds in the world.

“It was a huge issue … for not just the U.S. economy, but the global economy,” says Diane Lim Rogers, an economist in the Clinton administration.

The U.S. borrows money by selling bonds. So the end of debt would mean the end of Treasury bonds.

But the U.S. has been issuing bonds for so long, and the bonds are seen as so safe, that much of the world has come to depend on them. The U.S. Treasury bond is a pillar of the global economy.

Banks buy hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth, because they’re a safe place to park money.

Mortgage rates are tied to the interest rate on U.S. treasury bonds.

The Federal Reserve — our central bank — buys and sells Treasury bonds all the time, in an effort to keep the economy on track.

If Treasury bonds disappeared, would the world unravel? Would it adjust somehow?

“I probably thought about this piece easily 16 hours a day, and it took me a long time to even start writing it,” says Jason Seligman, the economist who wrote most of the report.

It was a strange, science-fictiony question.

“What would it look like to be in a United States without debt?” Seligman says. “What would life look like in those United States?”

Yes, there were ways for the world to adjust. But certain things got really tricky.

For example: What do you do with the money that comes out of people’s paychecks for Social Security? Now, a lot of that money gets invested in –- you guessed it — Treasury bonds. If there are no Treasury bonds, what do you invest it in? Stocks? Which stocks? Who picks?

In the end, Seligman concluded it was a good idea to pay down the debt — but not to pay it off entirely.

“There’s such a thing as too much debt,” he says. “But also such a thing, perhaps, as too little.”

The copy of Life After Debt we obtained reads “PRELIMINARY AND CLOSE HOLD OFFICIAL USE ONLY.”

The report was intended to be included in the official “Economic Report of the President” — the final one of the Clinton administration. But in the end, people above Jason Seligman decided it was too speculative, too politically sensitive. So it was never published.

The danger that we would pay off our debt by 2012 has clearly passed. There are plenty of Treasury bonds around these days. U.S. debt held by the public is now over $10 trillion.

PolAgnostic on February 13, 2014 at 6:52 PM

The vast majority of these RINOs are actually Liberal Democrats who saw that the competition was too severe on their side of the fence so they calculatingly switched sides so they could get their fair share of the pork pie. When pushed to the wall, however, (Crist and Specter are dramatic examples) they bare their hidden liberal teeth.

We mostly knew (or suspected) that Mitt Romney as governor of liberal Massachusetts and, while there, authoring a ominously similar health care bill to Omamacare was not exactly Ronald Reagan, but, some hoped,that Ryan would be a “steadying, conservative” influence on him. After Ryan’s egregious pronouncements on Amnesty, however, we now know him to be a horse’s pucker cavity. The bottom line, alas, is that a Romney-Ryan presidency would not only have been a horrendous letdown but treachery as well.

It is bad enough to have your nose repeatedly rubbed in dog doodie by liberals but when RINOs are holding your shoulders while libs do the pushing, it becomes an outrage.

MaiDee on February 13, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Can I vote for “NONE OF THE ABOVE”?

Ward Cleaver on February 13, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Monty Brewster salutes you.

Athos on February 13, 2014 at 8:36 PM

But the GOP is supposed to sweep the 2014 Congressional elections. LOL!!

Tasha on February 13, 2014 at 8:40 PM

Eye-popping, turkey-waddling, no chin wonder.
Sherman1864 on February 13, 2014 at 12:39 AM

Same pic same comment applies.

Now something about Cornyn his sh-t.

Sherman1864 on February 13, 2014 at 9:10 PM

I’m baking a new cookie – it’s called Article V and it undoes the 17th Amendment. Then the many States can hold those to account….

famous amos on February 13, 2014 at 9:24 PM

Miffed that they have long been asked to take tough votes when the GOP leaders voted ‘no,’ Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski, privately pressured McConnell and Cornyn to vote to break the filibuster, sources said.

Seriously? Since when do Collins and Murkowski need cover for their votes?? Besides, only Collins is up for re-election, out of those two (un)worthies.

Newtie and the Beauty on February 13, 2014 at 9:29 PM

northdallasthirty on February 13, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Because, for all your talk about “unity”, the minute McConnell loses the primary, you Obama RINOs are going to stick a knife in him and try to destroy him, just like you did with Mourdock.

The game here is very simple. You Obama RINOs win, we conservatives always lose. You then go to Washington, vote yourself perks and privileges, and clap and cheer for Obamacare and all the other things your Obama Party friends want to force your working constituents to pay for.

Since we’re going to be forced to pay either way, there is ZERO reason for us to protect you. You act like a Democrat, we might as well have a Democrat representing us — and we get the pleasure of watching your rear tossed out on the street instead of sinking it into a comfortable Senate chair.

And then we can focus our efforts on destroying Obama and his supporters rather than constantly having to watch our backs lest you shiv us.

Hey Johnnyscumbag, I see you are selective in which posts you respond to. Why don’t you respond o the above post? I there’s God, your time will soon be over. Tea partyers, conservatives, constitutionalists, loyal americans, losers – I could give a sh-t what we’re called – it has to be our time now or this country is f-cked.

noeastern on February 13, 2014 at 10:08 PM

We already had this battle, and Republicans were unwilling to cut the funds of their constituencies the last go around. I just don’t see any serious players speaking up about cuts or taxes, in order to keep the books after a failure to increase the debt ceiling, and that’s where the rubber hits the road.

cimbri on February 13, 2014 at 10:13 PM

My god this is the best we have to run this great country. The cowards in the republican party have gone to the dark side.
A few hundred losers in congress and a commie prez combine to completely destroy a once great nation.
What a shame.

ouldbollix on February 13, 2014 at 10:18 PM

Where is gocatholic? I want he/she to put their 2 cents in on this thread…

-west

mr_west on February 13, 2014 at 10:31 PM

Just heard a Cornyn ad today about how he’s “standing up to those in Washington” and “on our side” and “calling Obama on his lies.” I think I threw up in my mouth! That two-faced hypocrite needs to GO!

UnderstandingisPower on February 13, 2014 at 6:41 PM

I almost experience projectile vomiting when I hear that John Wayne Cornyn ad. All he needs is the theme from Rawhide in the background.

I’m voting for Dwayne Stovall in the primary. Early voting starts Feb 18.

TxAnn56 on February 13, 2014 at 10:32 PM

No more wasted votes on the GOP. It’s all Independent down the ticket for me

Brock Robamney on February 13, 2014 at 11:16 PM

At least Jumpin’ Jim Jeffords and Snarlin’ Arlen Specter actually stopped pretending.

Mitch the Bi(a)tch… not so much….

viking01 on February 13, 2014 at 11:59 PM

Da mn good piece Allahpundit

conservativeBC on February 14, 2014 at 2:54 AM

Here is a NEWS-FLASH for the GUTLESS GOP ‘Liberal-Wanna-bes’….

If our choice during the election comes down to Democrats or ‘CLOSET Democrats’, we might as well vote for the Democrats who are not ashamed to at least be truthful with the American people about who they are!

$CREW YOU GUYS!

easyt65 on February 14, 2014 at 9:11 AM

Johnnyreb on February 13, 2014 at 3:33 PM

How much is McConnell’s campaign paying you to troll the conservative blogs to push his sorry arse reelection? It’s obvious that you are being paid by his campaign. No one single individual here goes to such lengths to push this RINO POS. But, alas you are dissing in the wind when it is obvious that the over whelming majority of HA bloggers agree with each other on McConnell being a liberal POS. So we get a Dem., in either Bevin as you claim, or a real Democrat like McConnell, so what, at least we don’t keep his sorry arse in power to kick conservatives in the teeth and use us like a shore at his whim.

they lie on February 14, 2014 at 1:48 PM

They killed the unemployment extension because they couldn’t attach any amendments. If it is so important to attach amendments to that bill, why were their none attached to this one?

Oxymoron on February 15, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Did Holder not say “America is a country of cowards”? And he was right, was he not?

LMAO!

vnohara on February 16, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Didn’t hear Cornyn’s name in the vote. Probably won’t see his name next week on the ballot either. Early voting, and he doesn’t need to explain himself to me.

Willys on February 16, 2014 at 8:47 PM

Comment pages: 1 2