|McCain (R-AZ) |
|Nelson (D-NE) |
|Not Voting - 1|
Perhaps the most notable switchers were Brown and Harkin: I've been wondering if Brown might be on the fence, but Harkin didn't seem to be on too many people's lists of potential switchers (I think...). Voinovich had always backed cloture before, but now he's switched. Another notable switch is McConnell: could that switch be an attempt to ingratiate himself with potentially disaffected Republican senators?
So there was a net gain of one vote for cloture in the time between the 6/7 cloture and today's cloture. How did that happen? Bennett, Craig, Gregg, Kyl, Lott, and Snowe (all R's) all voted against cloture on 6/7 but then voted for it today. So that's a gain of 6 for cloture. But the following 5 senators switched from favoring cloture on 6/7 to opposing cloture today: Bayh, Brown, Harkin, Stabenow, and Voinovich. These anti-cloture switchers include 4 D's and 1 R (Voinovich).
Ultimately, these vote switchers and the overall vote totals show an interesting disruption of conventional partisan breakdowns. A Republican president allied with some of the leading Democrats (e.g. Kennedy) in the US Senate to try to support this bill. The Republican whip (Lott) backed this cloture motion, but the Republican leader (McConnell), though seeming to back much of this "grand bargain," ultimately moved against cloture. While the coalition against cloture ultimately included more Republicans than Democrats, it does seem that opposition to cloture was ultimately bi-partisan (or even tri-partisan), linking together Independent Bernard Sanders, Democrat Sherrod Brown, and Republican Jeff Sessions.