Monday, June 11, 2007

GOP blocks Gonzales no-confidence measure

GOP blocks Gonzales no-confidence vote -
Politics -
The vote was 53-38, in favor of a "no confidence" resolution, two votes short of the 60 votes required.

"There is no confidence in the attorney general on this side of the aisle," said Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Specter voted to move the resolution forward, but he said many of his GOP colleagues would not because they feared political retribution.

The Senate Democrats pushed for this vote specifically to try to get their Republican colleagues to go on the record with their disapproval of Gonzales' performance, and by extension, the Bush administration. When there is a close vote on a major issue, I am always interested in both how my senators voted, and who did NOT make the vote. In this case, despite the closeness of the vote on this hotly debated this issue, only 91 senators voted (out of a possible 99 votes - Wyoming senator Craig Thomas died last week).

I took a look to see which 8 members of the Senate missed the vote (and incidentally avoided putting their sentiment, either way, into the Congressional Record). Five of them were presidential candidates - Christopher Dodd, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Sam Brownback and John McCain. Hillary Clinton was the only candidate for president who was present for the vote. The election is 17 months away. Wouldn't you think this vote was important enough to come off the campaign trail and be present for the roll call?

For those who are interested, here is how it broke down:

Voting "yes" were 45 Democrats, seven Republicans and one independent.

Voting "no" were no Democrats, 37 Republicans and one independent.

"Present" denotes those who voted they were present at the time of the vote but did not vote yes or no on the issue.

Democrats Yes
Akaka, Hawaii; Baucus, Mont.; Bayh, Ind.; Bingaman, N.M.; Boxer, Calif.; Brown, Ohio; Byrd, W.Va.; Cantwell, Wash.; Cardin, Md.; Carper, Del.; Casey, Pa.; Clinton, N.Y.; Conrad, N.D.; Dorgan, N.D.; Durbin, Ill.; Feingold, Wis.; Feinstein, Calif.; Harkin, Iowa; Inouye, Hawaii; Kennedy, Mass.; Kerry, Mass.; Klobuchar, Minn.; Kohl, Wis.; Landrieu, La.; Lautenberg, N.J.; Leahy, Vt.; Levin, Mich.; Lincoln, Ark.; McCaskill, Mo.; Menendez, N.J.; Mikulski, Md.; Murray, Wash.; Nelson, Fla.; Nelson, Neb.; Pryor, Ark.; Reed, R.I.; Reid, Nev.; Rockefeller, W.Va.; Salazar, Colo.; Schumer, N.Y.; Stabenow, Mich.; Tester, Mont.; Webb, Va.; Whitehouse, R.I.; Wyden, Ore.

Democrats No

Democrats Not Voting
Biden, Del.; Dodd, Conn.; Johnson, S.D.; Obama, Ill.

Republicans Yes
Coleman, Minn.; Collins, Maine; Hagel, Neb.; Smith, Ore.; Snowe, Maine; Specter, Pa.; Sununu, N.H.

Republicans No
Alexander, Tenn.; Allard, Colo.; Bennett, Utah; Bond, Mo.; Bunning, Ky.; Burr, N.C.; Chambliss, Ga.; Cochran, Miss.; Corker, Tenn.; Cornyn, Texas; Craig, Idaho; Crapo, Idaho; DeMint, S.C.; Dole, N.C.; Domenici, N.M.; Ensign, Nev.; Enzi, Wyo.; Graham, S.C.; Grassley, Iowa; Gregg, N.H.; Hatch, Utah; Hutchison, Texas; Inhofe, Okla.; Isakson, Ga.; Kyl, Ariz.; Lott, Miss.; Lugar, Ind.; Martinez, Fla.; McConnell, Ky.; Murkowski, Alaska; Roberts, Kan.; Sessions, Ala.; Shelby, Ala.; Thune, S.D.; Vitter, La.; Voinovich, Ohio; Warner, Va.

Republicans Voting Present
Stevens, Alaska.

Republicans Not Voting
Brownback, Kan.; Coburn, Okla.; McCain, Ariz.

Others Yes
Sanders, Vt.

Others No
Lieberman, Conn.

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