The Senate today voted 51-48 to not remove the ANWR drilling provision from the budget reconciliation bill. The question for 3WN is how did Norm vote on this. I've checked a number of news stories and also the official Senate web site and can't find a roll call list. I'm sure we'll know soon whether Norm caved on this but it bugs me that it is so hard to quickly find information like this. Every Sunday I can get real time updates of every last yard, point and penalty for every NFL game. Why the hell can't I get information about what my elected representatives are doing in my name just as easily? The Senate site has nothing more recent than yesterday. We'll update this post as soon as we find out more on Sen. Empty Suit.
From the Washington Post:
The key Senate vote was on an amendment championed by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) to drop the drilling approval from the budget resolution. Three Democrats -- Daniel K. Inouye and Daniel K. Akaka of Hawaii and Mary Landrieu (La.) -- joined 48 Republicans to defeat the amendment. Seven Republicans, 41 Democrats and one independent voted to eliminate the drilling provision.I'm going to guess Norm was one of the 7 Republicans that voted to strip the measure out. That doesn't mean we should cut him any slack though. Party whips know exactly how their folks are going to vote and in cases like this work the votes to provide cover to party members who need it. In this case I'm sure Coleman was given the chance to vote against the majority of his party when it became clear they had the votes to spare. In other words, when the whips count the likely votes and see that they have, say, 54 votes going their way they can turn to three of them and say "We know that if we needed your vote you would vote with us but since we don't need it go ahead and vote the way that does you the most good politically." I predict that we will very shortly see Norm touting his pro-environment vote. Don't for a minute think that he would have voted that way if his had been the deciding vote. Also expect to see the mainstream media lap it up and not say anything about how whip vote counting works in situations like this even though every decent Capital Hill reporter knows how these things are done.