Thursday, February 13, 2014

Arizona Senators McCain, Flake Back Republican Leadership To Set Up Debt Limit Raise Vote, Then Vote Against Increase

A very good play-by-play article in Politico today on how the Senate came to a simple majority vote to increase the federal government's debt limit includes Arizona Senator John McCain's thinking on switching his vote.

McCain had told reporters that he was not going to vote for cloture, as he entered the Senate chambers for the vote.  Failure to invoke cloture would have likely resulted in needing 60 votes to raise the debt ceiling.   However, after Senate Republican leaders Mitch McConnell (KY) and John Cornyn (TX) dramatically and simultaneously broke the deadlock, both McCain and Arizona colleague Jeff Flake joined the group GOP plunge to allow a final, simple majority vote.  In total, 12 Republicans voted "aye".  (Final vote, 67-31.)

Of course, this then permitted the Senate to follow the House in approving the "clean" debt ceiling increase without GOP votes.  McCain, Flake, McConnell, Cornyn and all of the Senate Republicans voted against the increase.

Politico quotes McCain as saying he voted for cloture "because it was the “right thing to do....  There are many of us who certainly would like to see a different outcome,” McCain said. “But it’s obvious the House of Representatives wasn’t going to vote any different.”

All of Arizona's GOP House members had voted against the clean debt ceiling increase earlier in the week.  28 House Republicans had voted with the Democrats.

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