by arenwin, Wed Dec 21, 2005 at 07:56:58 AM EST
The Senate passed the awful budget reconciliation that provides cash for upcoming tax cuts for the wealthy on the backs of the elderly, poor, and students. They did this through a 51-50 vote, with Cheney providing the tiebreaker. A single additional Democrat could have killed this.
Then, on a much happier note, they failed (just minutes ago) 56-44 to invoke cloture on the defense approrpations bill including the ANWR drilling provision - meaning the filibuster stands. FOUR Democrats voted for cloture: Akaka, Inouye, Landrieu, and Nelson; TWO Republicans voted against: Chafee and DeWine; Frist voted against for strictly procedural reasons. So, consider how precarious this actually was. Technically, we didn't require the Republican votes, as we had 40 Democrats plus one Independent. But being able to muster only 41 minority party votes for this filibuster is too close for comfort.
The talking heads will blather on about how difficult it would be for us to win the Senate in '06. They're right in a sense - it will be difficult to pick up 6 seats (although hardly impossible). However, I like to remind myself at every opportunity what a difference a 2 or 3 seat pickup could make. Today's events drive the point home yet again.
Update [2005-12-21 13:5:36 by arenwin]: I should note that "moderate environmentalist" McCain complained about the move by Ted Stevens to attach ANWR drilling to the defense appropriations bill - and then went right ahead and voted to end the filibuster. Which, of course, would have virtually guaranteed passage of ANWR drilling into law. Once again, why is he a hero of some on the left?