The Senate just held its long-awaited vote on cloture for the auto bailout bill, and it failed 52-35. Good.
A few surprises: The Maine Sisters voted to end debate and not to support the filibuster, but Montana’s two Democrats, Max Baucus and Jon Tester, sided with the Republican filibuster. Norm Coleman voted to support the filibuster, which surprises me just a little. Richard Lugar voted in favor of the bailout. Bob Corker, who tried to fashion a last-minute deal, voted in support of the filibuster. Sam Brownback, George Voinovich, Arlen Specter, and John Warner all voted for the bailout. I knew it had failed when Harry Reid voted no, a parliamentary maneuver which allows him to reopen the vote.
Harry Reid says he won’t be offering any more business in this session of Congress, which means this bailout died a well-deserved death. He urged President Bush to use his executive powers to offer the bailout from TARP funds, and as early as tomorrow, with any conditions he sees fit. I’d bet we’ll see just that within 24 hours.
In the meantime, congratulations to Senate Republicans. Most of them, and a few Democrats like Baucus and Tester and Blanche Lincoln, must have read their Robert Byrd Pocket Constitutions and realized that the federal government has no role in bailing out private enterprise with taxpayer money.