Friday, July 20, 2007

While a lot of attention has been paid to the failure of the Collins amendment (which would protect tipsters of suspicious terrorist activity from being sued in civil court) 57-39 (the measure needed 60 votes to overcome a point-of-order claim), there were some other interesting votes on amendments to the education bill on the Senate floor yesterday, as well.

The Senate rejected on a point of order an amendment by Sen. Ensign (R-NV) that would "ensure that individuals are not able to receive Social Security benefits as a result of unlawful activity." This measure failed 57-40. Four Republicans opposed this measure: Hagel, Lugar, Specter, and Voinovich. Thirteen Democrats supported it: Baucus, Bayh, Conrad, Dorgan, Harkin, Klobuchar, Landrieu, Lincoln, Nelson (NE), Pryor, Rockefeller, Tester, and Wyden. The Senate also rejected 55-40 an amendment by Cornyn (R-TX) that would attempt to provide "relief for shortages in employment-based visas for aliens with extraordinary ability and advanced degrees and for nurses."

The Senate also rejected on a point of order the Coleman (R-MN) amendment that would prevent the FCC from re-instituting the "Fairness Doctrine." This amendment was blocked 49-48. Every Republican (with the exception of Brownback, who did not vote) voted in favor of this amendment; Bayh (IN) was the only Democrat to vote in favor of it. We'll have to see what that means....

[Correction: I originally forgot Landreiu--added her and got to 13. Sorry about that.]