The first vote on S 2578, the bill to overturn the Hobby Lobby decision by repealing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, is in.
It was a vote on cloture. Cloture is a vote to stop a filibuster on a measure, or, as in this case, whether or not to debate a bill. It came within 4 votes of passing, which would have meant that the bill would almost certainly have passed the Senate. As it is, a filibuster can tie it up and keep it from going to the House, and no debate keeps it from coming to a vote at all.
The final vote was 56-43.
I’m going to put the vote below. It is a bit confusing, since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid voted “no” on the vote to stop a filibuster. That was one of those pesky procedural votes. A procedural vote means that he voted the way he did to achieve a goal within the Senate procedures, in this case to position himself to call the vote on cloture up again.
What that means is that there may be another vote on cloture.
With the exception of Senator Reid, a “no” vote below means that the Senator voted against S 2578. A “yes” vote means they voted for it.
Unless I am mistaken, it was basically a party-line vote, with Independent Senators Sanders of Vermont and King of Maine and Republicans Murkowski of Alaska, Kirk of Illinois and Collins of Maine voting with the Democrats. The opinion voiced by Senate Republicans is that the Senate Democrats see this move as a vote getter for the party in November.
I have no doubt that is the big reason why you see all the Ds lining up on this. I could probably tell you the exact things which were said behind closed doors about this particular vote. I’ll bet I could recite it almost word for word.
A number of senators who voted for this attack on religious freedom come from conservative states where traditional Christians comprise a sizable voting block. They are evidently counting on party financing and the media machine to lie for them so that the public will be so mis-informed about the Hobby Lobby decision that they can ride this vote to victory rather than the ignominious defeat it should garner for them.
Other senators, such as Senator Mary Landrieu, who comes from Louisiana, is up for re-election, and was elected on a pro-life plank, may face some choppy water because of this vote. I would guess that she can get away with it if she can convince the voters that it was a vote about birth control and not religious liberty.
The other factor — and it is enormous — is how the voters of Louisiana feel about her personally. If they like her and trust her, individual votes she cast won’t matter.
Here is the vote.
Grouped by Home State
|Alabama:||Sessions (R-AL), Nay||Shelby (R-AL), Nay|
|Alaska:||Begich (D-AK), Yea||Murkowski (R-AK), Yea|
|Arizona:||Flake (R-AZ), Nay||McCain (R-AZ), Nay|
|Arkansas:||Boozman (R-AR), Nay||Pryor (D-AR), Yea|
|California:||Boxer (D-CA), Yea||Feinstein (D-CA), Yea|
|Colorado:||Bennet (D-CO), Yea||Udall (D-CO), Yea|
|Connecticut:||Blumenthal (D-CT), Yea||Murphy (D-CT), Yea|
|Delaware:||Carper (D-DE), Yea||Coons (D-DE), Yea|
|Florida:||Nelson (D-FL), Yea||Rubio (R-FL), Nay|
|Georgia:||Chambliss (R-GA), Nay||Isakson (R-GA), Nay|
|Hawaii:||Hirono (D-HI), Yea
||Schatz (D-HI), Not Voting|
|Idaho:||Crapo (R-ID), Nay||Risch (R-ID), Nay|
|Illinois:||Durbin (D-IL), Yea||Kirk (R-IL), Yea|
|Indiana:||Coats (R-IN), Nay||Donnelly (D-IN), Yea|
|Iowa:||Grassley (R-IA), Nay||Harkin (D-IA), Yea|
|Kansas:||Moran (R-KS), Nay||Roberts (R-KS), Nay
|Kentucky:||McConnell (R-KY), Nay||Paul (R-KY), Nay|
|Louisiana:||Landrieu (D-LA), Yea||Vitter (R-LA), Nay|
|Maine:||Collins (R-ME), Yea||King (I-ME), Yea|
|Maryland:||Cardin (D-MD), Yea||Mikulski (D-MD), Yea|
|Massachusetts:||Markey (D-MA), Yea||Warren (D-MA), Yea|
|Michigan:||Levin (D-MI), Yea||Stabenow (D-MI), Yea|
|Minnesota:||Franken (D-MN), Yea||Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea|
|Mississippi:||Cochran (R-MS), Nay||Wicker (R-MS), Nay|
|Missouri:||Blunt (R-MO), Nay||McCaskill (D-MO), Yea|
|Montana:||Tester (D-MT), Yea||Walsh (D-MT), Yea|
|Nebraska:||Fischer (R-NE), Nay||Johanns (R-NE), Nay|
|Nevada:||Heller (R-NV), Nay||Reid (D-NV), Nay|
|New Hampshire:||Ayotte (R-NH), Nay||Shaheen (D-NH), Yea|
|New Jersey:||Booker (D-NJ), Yea||Menendez (D-NJ), Yea|
|New Mexico:||Heinrich (D-NM), Yea||Udall (D-NM), Yea|
|New York:||Gillibrand (D-NY), Yea
||Schumer (D-NY), Yea|
|North Carolina:||Burr (R-NC), Nay||Hagan (D-NC), Yea|
|North Dakota:||Heitkamp (D-ND), Yea||Hoeven (R-ND), Nay|
|Ohio:||Brown (D-OH), Yea||Portman (R-OH), Nay|
|Oklahoma:||Coburn (R-OK), Nay||Inhofe (R-OK), Nay|
|Oregon:||Merkley (D-OR), Yea||Wyden (D-OR), Yea
|Pennsylvania:||Casey (D-PA), Yea||Toomey (R-PA), Nay|
|Rhode Island:||Reed (D-RI), Yea||Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea|
|South Carolina:||Graham (R-SC), Nay||Scott (R-SC), Nay|
|South Dakota:||Johnson (D-SD), Yea||Thune (R-SD), Nay|
|Tennessee:||Alexander (R-TN), Nay||Corker (R-TN), Nay
|Texas:||Cornyn (R-TX), Nay||Cruz (R-TX), Nay|
|Utah:||Hatch (R-UT), Nay||Lee (R-UT), Nay|
|Vermont:||Leahy (D-VT), Yea||Sanders (I-VT), Yea|
|Virginia:||Kaine (D-VA), Yea||Warner (D-VA), Yea|
|Washington:||Cantwell (D-WA), Yea||Murray (D-WA), Yea|
|West Virginia:||Manchin (D-WV), Yea||Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea|
|Wisconsin:||Baldwin (D-WI), Yea||Johnson (R-WI), Nay|
|Wyoming:||Barrasso (R-WY), Nay||Enzi (R-WY), Nay|