About an hour ago the Senate started moving forward the Tax Cuts and Unemployment Benefits bill (actually based on HR 4853) and, since they need to get 60 votes to pass it, this is being held open so all Senators can vote. Given the weather conditions nationwide, some Senators have had trouble getting back from the weekend, and I am not sure who we are waiting for and how long they will continue to hold it open.
At the one hour mark the vote was 58 – 6 in favor of passage. The 6 NO votes so far are all Democrats (Bingaman, Feingold, Leahy, Sanders, Gillibrand and the Udall from Colorado.) You can see Senators wandering in here and there on screen and the Senate Pages wandering around and talking to each other. They are in the W’s on the Roll Call and the fellow with the list is calling out vote results (so far, I guess). Sounds like the AYES are a mix of Dems and Reps. Brown of Ohio just became the seventh NO vote.
However, Senator Lincoln just voted AYE, so it looks like they have the 60 that pass the measure.
I’m not sure, but I think all this vote means is they move forward now to 30 hours of debate on the final bill. It’s now 63 – 8. The actual, final, real vote on this will not happen until tomorrow or Wednesday, I guess. At an hour and 20 minutes, I’m checking out.