Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) introduced an amendment to the HUD and Transportation appropriation bill to strip ACORN of all federal funding. A week ago, Johanns wouldn’t have gotten the amendment to the floor. Today, however, after three straight days of BigGovernment.com’s video exposés of ACORN offices in Washington DC, New York City, and Baltimore offering assistance to pimping, tax evasion, and trafficking in underage Salvadorean girls, Johanns not only got his vote — but he got an impressive bipartisan showing. The Senate passed the Johanns amendment 83-7.
At the beginning of the vote, it appeared that Democrats might resist. Initially, a half-dozen Democrats cast votes in opposition to the amendment. A few more cast votes against it as the rest of the Senate voted, but the tide appeared to shift. More and more Democrats signed onto the amendment, and votes started changing. One male voice could be heard in the chamber saying, “I want to change my vote!” Among those who changed their votes: Tom Udall (D-NM), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Herb Kohl (D-WI).
I do not have the official roll call record of the vote yet, but three of the seven Democrats voting against the bill were Dick Durbin (D-IL), Roland Burris (D-IL), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT). I’ll get the rest in a few minutes, but it’s worth repeating what Jim Geraghty said on the Twitter stream: “Who were the seven Child-Whoring Pimp Assistance Program defenders?”
The big question will be whether the House follows suit. Nancy Pelosi may not be inclined to let an amendment come to the floor, but James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles may not be done yet, either. A few more of these videos and even Pelosi will have little choice but to slam the door on ACORN. The big test will be whether the Johanns amendment survives a conference committee. This isn’t over yet.
Update: Thanks to Sean Hackbarth, we have the list of seven nays on the amendment so that the Child-Whoring Pimp Assitance 7 can be publicly identified:
- Dick Durbin (D-IL)
- Roland Burris (D-IL)
- Robert Casey (D-PA)
- Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
- Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
- Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
- Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
So can we assume that Illinois and Vermont are especially sympathetic to child-whoring pimp assistance?
Update (AP): Man, this house of cards is toppling fast:
Meanwhile, Jerry Schmetterer, director of public information for the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, told FOXNews.com that officials will be “taking a look” into Brooklyn’s ACORN office.
“We are going to be taking a look at the situation,” Schmetterer said Monday.
A spokesman for Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said ACORN’S tax status as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization should also be probed.
“We’ve already seen the Census Bureau severe its tie with ACORN,” the spokesman, Kurt Bardella, told FOXNews.com. “Certainly, as an organization being subsidized by taxpayer dollars, their relationship with other government entities should be called into question, and whether or not it’s appropriate for them to receive taxpayer dollars.”
Has The One opened his mouth yet to say anything about his pals being in such dire straits?
Update (Ed): The vote has been posted and can be found here.
Update (AP): So much heart-ache.
“We’re disappointed that the Senate took the rare and politically convenient step of supporting eliminating some federal funding for a single organization, one that has been the target of an historical political assault stemming variously from the Bush White House, Fox News, and other conservative quarters,” said Bertha Lewis, CEO of ACORN, in a statement after the Senate vote. “Fortunately, ACORN derives most of its income from its members and other supporters, so the decision will have little impact on overall operations. Tonight’s vote will burden the families who benefited from ACORN’s important work to improve housing conditions in the United States.”