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February 13, 2014

Feelgood Story Of The Day...Ted Cruz Jams It To Mitch McConnell And John Cornyn

Technically it was yesterday but it's too delicious to let slip by. After saying he couldn't imagine passing a clean debt ceiling, Mitch McConnell was set to let that very thing happened yesterday. And then along came Ted Cruz.

The leaders had wanted to allow the toxic measure to pass with just 51 votes so all 45 Republicans could vote against it. But Cruz, the Texas tea party freshman, demanded approval by a 60-vote threshold.

So McConnell and Cornyn tried to persuade more than five Republicans in safe seats to support the effort, but they were met with stiff resistance. No Republican wanted to be vote No. 60 to advance a bill to raise the debt ceiling without spending cuts, forcing the GOP leaders to secure a comfortable margin of victory or risk being blamed for a historic debt default.

How bad was this vote? Even Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins wanted cover for it. They usually vote with the Democrats to save guys like McConnell and number 2 Senate GOP leader John Cornyn the embarrassment of voting with Harry Reid. Well not yesterday.

The vote started late, as Senate Republicans huddled behind closed doors. After meeting for roughly an hour in private, the conference still did not know whether it could conjure up the needed votes.

On the floor, the procedural vote ran on for another hour, with Republicans slow to offer support.

Cornyn and McConnell, who is the most vulnerable Senate Republican up for reelection in 2014, then voted to end the debate, making it clear the procedural motion would be approved.

After their dramatic votes, another group of Republicans met in a room off the Senate floor. They returned, and several switched their votes from no to yes.

Some members said they switched their votes to give cover to McConnell and Cornyn.

“I didn’t want this to come down to just be a criticized vote for just a few of our people. It just wasn’t right,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who fought off a primary challenger in 2012 and is serving his last term.

12 Republicans wound up voting with Obama, Reid and the rest of the Democrats on the cloture vote, the one that counted. They all bravely voted against it on final passage when it only needed 51 votes to pass.

Cruz has laid a little low lately after his dust ups with the establishment over the shutdown. But yesterday he delivered an enormous gift to McConnell's primary opponent Matt Bevin and once again showed what a bunch of feckless hacks so much of the GOP is.


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posted by DrewM. at 10:09 AM

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