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September 6, 2010

Obama announces plan to build roads, railroads and runways

Obama announces plan to build roads, railroads and runways

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Monday, September 6, 2010

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File photo of US President Barack Obama
Image: realjameso16.

In a speech in Wisconsin, US President Barack Obama announced a USD50 billion plan to restore 150,000 miles of roads, lay 4,000 miles of railroad tracks and rebuild 150 miles of airport runways within six years. The speech was given at an annual Labor Day festival in Milwaukee to union workers on Monday afternoon.

“All of this will not only create jobs immediately, it’s also going to make our economy hum over the long haul,” Obama said during the speech. The president also said that “we are going to rebuild 150,000 miles of our roads — that’s enough to circle the world six times… We’re going to lay and maintain 4,000 miles of our railways — enough to stretch coast-to-coast” and that he was “going to keep fighting, every single day, every single hour, every single minute to turn this economy around”.

Most of the new railways that Obama talked about will be high-speed rail lines, and the president also said that his administration would “restore 150 miles of runways and advance a next-generation air traffic control system to reduce travel time and delays for American travelers — something I think folks across the political spectrum could agree on.” In the Obama Administration’s plan, a new infrastructure bank will be created.

Obama stressed that the new bill will not add to the federal budget deficit, with Obama saying that “this is a plan that will be fully paid for. It will not add to the deficit over time — we’re going to work with Congress to see to that.” An Obama administration official also said that the plan will be funded by closing tax loopholes for oil and gas corporations.

Though Obama said that “these are projects and efforts that have bipartisan support that we know could possibly get support in the Congress and the Senate“, Republicans expressed reservations about the new plan, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell calling it “a last-minute, cobbled-together stimulus bill”.



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January 21, 2010

Scott Brown wins special election for Massachusetts\’s Senate seat in upset victory

Scott Brown wins special election for Massachusetts’s Senate seat in upset victory

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Senator-elect Scott Brown at a campaign event in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Image: Dexta32084.

Republican State Senator Scott Brown has won the Massachusetts United States Senate seat formerly held by the late Ted Kennedy in a major upset victory, becoming the first Republican that state has elected in 38 years. The state senator from Wrentham beat Massachusetts’s Attorney General, Martha Coakley, in a closely watched race that many believe may have a nationwide impact.

With higher than expected turnout — despite snow and rain blanketing much of the state — Brown won with 51.9% of the vote, as Coakley lagged behind closely with 47.1% of the vote in a state generally considered to be heavily Democratic. The race garnered national attention when Brown came from behind in opinion polls to take a last-minute lead, leaving Democrats scrambling. Meanwhile, Independent Libertarian Joseph L. Kennedy, who has no relation to the late Senator Kennedy, ran under the Liberty ticket on the ballot and only garnered one percent of the vote with 22,237 votes.

Results by county

Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin predicted earlier in the day that turnout would be 40 to 55 percent. Galvin was quote as saying, “We’ve been in touch with many of our city and town clerks to monitor turnout. They uniformly tell us that turnout is brisk, that interest is strong.”

Galvin added, “We’re particularly seeing a high level of interest in some of the suburban communities. Traditionally cities tend to vote somewhat later. But we have seen a number of communities (with) lines, and people standing in lines, very patiently, in the snow.” His office sent out 105,000 absentee ballots.

Brown’s strongest vote came from the suburbs of Boston where independent voters, which make up a majority in Massachusetts, generally live.

Coakley’s strongest vote came from the cities, including the capital, Boston, where she won by a large margin, along with Massachusetts’ second and third largest cities, Worcester and Springfield. Other large cities that went for Coakley included New Bedford, Fall River, Brockton, Lynn, Salem, and Lawrence.

Wikinews reporter Patrick Mannion noted the turnout at his polling place in Lynn was small to moderate.

Brown has promised to be the 41st Republican senator that will end the Democrats’ filibuster proof supermajority and in a ironic twist of fate possibly end health-care reform of which his predecessor Ted Kennedy called “the cause of my life.”

Cquote1.svg I’ll bet they can hear all this cheering down in Washington, D.C. And I hope they’re paying close attention, because tonight the independent voice of Massachusetts has spoken. … I’m Scott Brown. I’m from Wrentham. I drive a truck, and I am nobody’s senator but yours. Cquote2.svg

—Senator-elect Scott Brown

Coakley called Brown shortly before the election was called for him to concede to him. She then went in front of supporters at Boston’s Sheraton Hotel saying, “Although our campaign ends tonight, we know that our mission continues and our work goes on.” Coakley continued, “I am heartbroken at the result and I know that you are also, but I know that you will get up together and continue this fight even with this result tonight.”

Coakley finished her speech with a slight crack in her voice by quoting Ted Kennedy’s famous line from the 1980 Democratic National Convention, “The work begins anew, the hope rises again, and the dream lives on.”

Meanwhile, at Boston’s Park Plaza Hotel, Brown gave his victory speech to supporters saying, “I’ll bet they can hear all this cheering down in Washington, D.C.” Brown continued, saying, “And I hope they’re paying close attention, because tonight the independent voice of Massachusetts has spoken.”

Brown added, “This Senate seat belongs to no one person and no political party — and as I have said before, and you said loud and clear today, it is the people’s seat.” He continued, “The people, by their votes, have now filled the office themselves, and I am ready to go to Washington without delay.”

Brown was joined on stage by his wife, Gail Huff, a reporter for local television station WCVB-TV, and his two daughters Arianna and Ayla Brown. Ayla was previously a contestant on the reality singing show American Idol. Brown said, “I rely as always, on Gail’s love and support and that of our beautiful daughters.”

Brown jokingly added, “And just in case anyone who’s watching throughout the country they’re both available. No, no. No. Only kidding, only kidding. Only kidding, only kidding. Arianna… Arianna’s, definitely not available. But Ayla is. This is Arianna. This is Ayla. I can see I’m going to get in trouble when I get home.”

Brown closed by saying, “I’m Scott Brown. I’m from Wrentham. I drive a truck, and I am nobody’s senator but yours.”

President Barack Obama phoned both candidates Tuesday night, congratulating Brown on a well-run campaign and saying he is eager to work with him on the urgent problems facing Massachusetts voters and all Americans.

Coakley noted the President’s call in her concession speech saying, “He actually just called me before I came onstage to say that we can’t win them all, and he knows that better than any, as he told me. But he appreciates what I did and what you did, and he said to extend his heartfelt thanks to everyone who worked on the campaign.”

Brown’s response to the President’s call was, “Would you like me to drive the truck down to Washington so you can see it?” Brown was referring to his 2005 GMC Canyon pickup truck which became an icon of his campaign, which featured in commericals portraying him as an everyday, regular joe Massachusetts citizen. The pickup truck was mocked by President Obama when he made a campaign stop on Sunday to drum up support for the lagging Coakley.

This led Brown to quip, “I didn’t mind when President Obama came here and criticized me — that happens in campaigns. But when he criticized my truck, that’s where I draw the line.”

Senator-elect Brown will fill the remaining two years of Ted Kennedy’s term. Brown will replace Senator Paul Kirk, a longtime friend of Ted Kennedy who was holding the seat in the interim until the special election was concluded.

The last time Massachusetts elected a Republican was in 1972 when they re-elected Edward Brooke, the state’s first African-American senator, to a second term. Brooke first ran in 1966 and was elected then.

However, the seat that Ted Kennedy held, which is the Class 1 seat, was held by a Republican until 1952 when Henry Cabot Lodge lost his re-election bid to Ted’s older brother, John F. Kennedy, who would later become the 35th President of the United States. Ted Kennedy won the seat in a special election in 1962 against Lodge’s son, George C. Lodge. Kennedy held the seat for 46 years until dying of brain cancer in August 2009.

Reaction

Cquote1.svg I never thought I’d see the day when a Republican replaces Ted Kennedy. I think Scott Brown caught the wave of anger that’s out there, and the wave of anti-Obama. Cquote2.svg

—Tom Menino, Democratic Mayor of Boston

Many local politicans spoke about the victory, Mayor of Boston Tom Menino who recently began his fifth term earlier this month said, “I never thought I’d see the day when a Republican replaces Ted Kennedy. I think Scott Brown caught the wave of anger that’s out there, and the wave of anti-Obama.”

Representative Ed Markey, the Democrat who represents Massachusetts’s 7th congressional district, plans to pass the health care bill despite the victory. Markey said, “As Sen. Kennedy would say, the cause endures, and the dream will never die.”

Representative Barney Frank, the Democrat who represents Massachusetts’s 4th congressional district, was blunt on Coakley’s loss. “Martha Coakley was a lousy candidate. She let herself get involved in a personality debate.”

Coakley was blamed by some Democratic officials for running a bad campaign and not campaigning enough for the seat, especially with taking a vacation right before the new year to the Caribbean.

Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray said, “Money was the issue after the primary. We just couldn’t get people’s attention.”

Former Republican Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who back in 1994 took on the late Senator Kennedy for this same seat in a heated election, was quoted as saying, “When it comes to the liberal arrogance in Washington, D.C. Scott Brown’s victory is the shot heard around the world.”

Cquote1.svg Martha Coakley was a lousy candidate. She let herself get involved in a personality debate. Cquote2.svg

—Rep. Barney Frank, Democrat from Massachusetts’s 4th congressional district

Romney added, “He’s run a good campaign and he’s made it clear that the ignorance in Washington has been rejected.” Romney was also quoted saying, “This is really a referendum, if you will, on the Barack Obama agenda…I think the people here in Massachusetts, in the bluest of blue states, are saying they don’t like this kind of arrogance.”

Politicians from around the country also chimed in such as Howard Dean, the former Governor of Vermont, a candidate in the 2004 presidential election and the former head of the Democratic National Committee, who was responsible for the “50 States” strategy which focused on winning Democratic seats in all 50 states.

Dean speaking on MSNBC said, “We’ve got to be tougher. I’ve said Democrats haven’t been tough enough.” He added, “I don’t think this was a backlash on health care reform, I think it was a backlash on Washington.”

Cquote1.svg When it comes to the liberal arrogance in Washington, D.C. Scott Brown’s victory is the shot heard around the world. Cquote2.svg

—Mitt Romney, former Republican Governor of Massachusetts

Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat from New Jersey, who is the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said, “I have no interest in sugar coating what happened in Massachusetts. There is a lot of anxiety in the country right now. Americans are understandably impatient. The truth is Democrats understand the economic anger voters feel, that’s in large part why we did well in 2006 and 2008.”

Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, Republican from Kentucky, said “There’s a reason the nation was focused on this race. The voters in Massachusetts, like Americans everywhere, have made it abundantly clear where they stand on health care. They don’t want this bill and want Washington to listen to them.”



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December 20, 2009

Democratic holdout agrees to support health care reform in US

Democratic holdout agrees to support health care reform in US

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Official photo portrait of Ben Nelson, Democratic Senator from Nebraska

A conservative Democratic United States senator has agreed to supply the key 60th vote needed for passage of a sweeping health care reform package. Senate Democrats have reached a breakthrough in their struggle to pass sweeping heath care reform legislation, lining up the 60 votes needed to overcome fierce Republican opposition. Senators met Saturday in Washington, D.C. during a driving snowstorm in a frenzied effort to move forward on President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority.

The spotlight was on moderate Democratic Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who had been the last holdout as Senate Democrats raced against the clock and against determined Republican opposition to pass their health care bill by their self-imposed deadline of December 25th, Christmas.

Cquote1.svg Change is never easy, but change is what is necessary in America today and and that is why I intend to vote for cloture, I intend to vote for cloture and for health care reform. Cquote2.svg

—Ben Nelson, Democratic Senator for Nebraska

Nelson said he is now ready to vote for cloture, which would advance the bill. “Change is never easy, but change is what is necessary in America today and and that is why I intend to vote for cloture, I intend to vote for cloture and for health care reform,” he said.

Nelson said he decided to support the bill after winning new concessions from Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to limit the availability of abortions in insurance sold under the new legislation along with millions of dollars in Medicaid funding for Nebraska.

The legislation would extend health benefits to more than 30 million uninsured Americans and impose new regulations on the health insurance industry.

Senator Reid of Nevada has been working for months to win over one holdout Democratic senator after another, repeatedly altering the bill to satisfy different demands. Reid says reform is essential. “The broken system cannot continue and it will not continue. When President Obama signs this bill into law, we will officially end the era in which insurance companies win only when patients lose,” he said.

Cquote1.svg The broken system cannot continue and it will not continue. When President Obama signs this bill into law, we will officially end the era in which insurance companies win only when patients lose. Cquote2.svg

—Harry Reid, Democratic Senate Majority Leader

Nelson’s support should pave the way for Senate Democrats to win the first of a series of crucial procedural votes scheduled to begin at one o’clock in the morning on Monday and set to conclude — if everything goes smoothly for them — with final passage on Christmas Eve.

Republicans have been using a number of parliamentary procedures to delay action on the bill, including forcing a reading on the Senate floor Saturday of Reid’s 338-pages of last minute amendments. Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky responded to the apparent Democratic breakthrough. “And Democrats are forcing a vote on it, as I indicated, over the weekend, counting on the fact that the American people are preoccupied with Christmas and not paying much attention to what they are doing,” he said.

Cquote1.svg The history that is being made here, make no mistake about it, the history that is being made here, is the ignoring of the will of the American people. Cquote2.svg

—Mitch McConnell, Republican Senate Minority Leader

Republicans are unified in their opposition, saying the bill is too expensive and will not solve the problems with the current health care system. Senator McConnell dismissed claims by Democrats that the bill is historic. “The history that is being made here, make no mistake about it, the history that is being made here, is the ignoring of the will of the American people,” he said.

Senator John McCain of Arizona echoed those comments in the weekly Republican radio address saying, “Regrettably, there’s nothing in this legislation that effectively addresses the problem of health care hyperinflation. In fact, experts tell us the Democrat legislation makes matters worse.”

Democrats say they have been trying to reform the nation’s health care system for close to 70 years, ever since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in office. Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut was emotional as victory seemed within reach. “All we are trying to do is to guarantee that if you are a fellow citizen of ours, and you are struck with illness or a loved one is, that you will never again have that fear, that you will end up losing your home, your job, your retirement and your life savings because you have been afflicted with an illness through no fault of your own.”

If the Senate is able to pass a bill next week, it would be viewed as a major victory for President Obama. But the bill would still need to be reconciled with a health-care reform bill passed last month by the House of Representatives before the president could sign it into law next year.



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June 18, 2009

US senator John Ensign resigns from leadership role after admitting extra-marital affair

US senator John Ensign resigns from leadership role after admitting extra-marital affair

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

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Senator John Ensign
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John Ensign, the junior senator for Nevada has resigned his role as the Republican Policy Committee Chairman of the United States Senate one day after admitting having an extra-marital affair with a member of his campaign staff. Ensign, who had been in the role as chairman since January 2001, said that he had been involved in an affair between December 2007 and August 2008. He has stated that he will remain in the US Senate.

The Washington Post has called him a ‘rising star’ in the Republican Party and considered Ensign as a potential candidate in the 2012 United States presidential election.

Ensign told reporters that the affair “is the worst thing I have ever done in my life. If there was ever anything in my life that I could take back, this would be it.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell accepted his resignation during a phone call. The campaigner with whom Ensign had the affair is married to a fellow aide. Neither has worked for the senator since May 2008.

Both Senator Ensign and his aide refused to comment on his long-term political future.



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January 26, 2009

Republican leaders in US want more tax relief in economic stimulus

Republican leaders in US want more tax relief in economic stimulus

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Republican Senator John McCain says he will not vote for the economic recovery bill in its current form.

As the newly inaugurated Barack Obama administration continues to push for a US$825 billion stimulus package to aid the struggling United States economy, some Republican legislators say they will not vote for such a plan without the inclusion of more tax cuts and less “unnecessary” spending.

Arizona Senator John McCain, Obama’s general election opponent and a leading voice within the Republican Party, says he would not vote for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan as it currently stands. Appearing on Fox News Sunday yesterday, McCain echoed his campaign platform in saying, “We need to make tax cuts permanent, and we need to make a commitment that there’ll be no new taxes.”

McCain and other Republicans say they are unhappy with the bill introduced in the House of Representatives, which combines roughly $550 billion in domestic spending with $275 billion in tax cuts. McCain believes not enough Republican proposals have been integrated into the plan, which he fears will result in the plan becoming “just another spending project” rather than a job creator.

“Republicans have not been brought in, to the degree that we should be in, to these negotiations and discussions. So far, as far as I can tell, no Republican proposal has been incorporated,” McCain said. “We’re losing sight of what the stimulus is all about, and that is job creation.”

The Arizona senator is known for his bipartisan efforts in Washington, D.C., but he defined his role in the new Senate as the “loyal opposition”, which does not mean “that I or my party will be a rubber stamp” for Obama, he said.

Obama says the stimulus plan will create or save three to four million jobs over the next few years.

In his first weekly address since being sworn in, President Obama explained the stimulus plan in further detail, calling it a plan to “immediately jumpstart job creation as well as long-term economic growth.” He outlined several of the bill’s priorities, including the creation or salvation of up to four million jobs, as well as sweeping investments in health care, education, energy and infrastructure.

Among these investments are a new electricity grid with more than 3,000 miles of transmission lines, the weatherization of 2.5 million homes, health insurance protection for more than 8 million Americans, a renovation of over 10,000 schools, a project to repair thousands of miles of roadways, and an expansion of broadband Internet access.

Obama also laid out the rationale behind the stimulus, saying that “unprecedented action” is necessary in order to prevent further economic distress. “Our economy could fall $1 trillion short of its full capacity, which translates into more than $12,000 in lost income for a family of four,” Obama said. “In short, if we do not act boldly and swiftly, a bad situation could become dramatically worse.”

The president addressed the skepticism surrounding the stimulus package, pledging to “root out waste, inefficiency, and unnecessary spending”, while holding the government accountable for its actions. “We won’t just throw money at our problems,” Obama said. “We’ll invest in what works.”

House Minority Leader John Boehner believes the current bill contains excessive federal spending.

Still, Republicans such as House Minority Leader John Boehner are skeptical of the plan’s effectiveness in rebuilding the economy. “I think a lot of Republicans will vote no because it’s a lot of wasteful Washington spending”, he commented on Meet the Press, repeating McCain’s call for less federal spending and more tax cuts.

Examples of “wasteful” spending cited by Republicans include millions of coupons to aid in the digital television transition, $200 million for new sod on the National Mall, and $360 million to fight sexually transmitted diseases, which includes funding for contraceptives. House Republicans have claimed it will take 10 years before the economy feels the effect of a stimulus, and that the combined spending of the stimulus and the financial bailouts of last year will leave future generations with over $2 trillion of debt.

In response to the stimulus plan being pushed through Congress, Boehner and Republican Whip Eric Cantor presented Obama with an alternative stimulus plan on Friday, one that relies exclusively on income and business tax cuts. “Our plan offers fast-acting tax relief, not slow-moving and wasteful government spending,” Boehner said. The counterproposal includes an income tax reduction that would save families an estimated $3,200 a year.

Despite this opposition, the stimulus bill is expected to pass through Congress by mid-February, as the Republican minority does not have enough votes to stop its approval. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed a general support of the plan at a White House meeting with Obama and other congressional leaders. “I do think we’ll be able to meet the president’s deadline of getting the package to him by mid-February,” McConnell said. The bill is expected to go before Congress for a vote on Monday, February 2.

Obama’s top economic adviser Lawrence Summers defended the stimulus plan while on Meet the Press. He said the bill was intended to balance the long-term initiatives mentioned above with the tax cuts desired by Republicans. He also said Obama was committed to spending three quarters of the stimulus money within 18 months.



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July 18, 2007

US Senate to vote on troop pullout from Iraq today

US Senate to vote on troop pullout from Iraq today

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

United States Senate Democratic Majority Leader from Nevada Harry Reid has asked that the senate vote on the Levin/Reed Amendment at 11:00 a.m. (eastern time), which would begin a pullout of some U.S. troops from Iraq in 120 days, if the amendment is passed.

Currently, the U.S. senate is pulling an all-night debate on the Iraq war to decide whether troops should be pulled out of the country.

Despite the all-night session, some senators say that the debate is nothing more than a publicity stunt.

“Our enemies aren’t threatened by talk-a-thons, and our troops deserve better than publicity stunts,” said Mitch McConnell, a Republican Senator from Kentucky.

“We have no alternative except to keep them in session to explain their obstruction,” added Reid.

Democrats are calling for a “simple majority vote” of at least 51 in order for the amendment to go forward, while Republicans want at least 60 votes.

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US Senate says no to pullout of US troops from Iraq

US Senate says no to pullout of US troops from Iraq

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

After a rare all-night session, the United States Senate voted today at 11 a.m. EST on the motion to invoke cloture of the Levin/Reed Amendment (S.Amdt. 2087) which would begin a pullout of United States troops from Iraq, but only 52 votes were cast in favor of the amendment and 47 were cast against it, falling short of the 60 votes needed to overcome the Republican filibuster of the measure.

Cots were brought in for the Senators to catch snatches of sleep during the long night, while some slept at their Washington, D.C. apartments for short periods of time. Pizza was brought in for senators to eat. Seven Democrats left the Senate floor to join a candlelight vigil held outside across the street from Congress.

Had the bill passed, troops would have left Iraq 120 days after the vote, and would have been out of the country by April of 2008.

Four Republican critics of the war — both of Maine’s senators, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, together with Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Gordon Smith of Oregon — voted for the proposal. Collins’ was a surprise vote; although a critic, she has not been favorable toward the deadline approach. Joe Lieberman, the Independent Democrat senator from Connecticut, who caucuses with Democrats, voted with Republicans against the motion, as he has done with all Iraq war legislation this year.

Last night during the all-night senate debate, Democratic Majority Leader from Nevada, Harry Reid, asked that the Senate vote on the bill this morning. He later voted no on the motion in order to take advantage of Senate rules to reintroduce the measure.

After the motion failed, Reid proposed that the Senate look at a series of Iraq proposals, including the failed plan, and make them subject to a simple majority vote. Mitch McConnell, the Republican Minority Leader from Kentucky objected, and Reid withdrew the legislation from the floor. The Senate then moved on to discussing student loans and grants.

Throughout the night, the Senators took turns speaking in front of a large sign printed “Let Us Vote”, speaking in favor of the amendment and against the Republicans for not allowing a simple majority vote. Republicans took turns decrying it, noting that Democrats did the same when they were the minority, and criticizing Democratic leaders.

How they voted

The following is a breakdown of how the Senators voted on the motion of cloture for the Levin/Reed Amendment (S.Amdt. 2087) grouped by state:

Alabama:

  • Sessions (R-AL), Nay
  • Shelby (R-AL), Nay

Alaska:

  • Murkowski (R-AK), Nay
  • Stevens (R-AK), Nay

Arizona:

  • Kyl (R-AZ), Nay
  • McCain (R-AZ), Nay

Arkansas:

  • Lincoln (D-AR), Yea
  • Pryor (D-AR), Yea

California:

  • Boxer (D-CA), Yea
  • Feinstein (D-CA), Yea

Colorado:

  • Allard (R-CO), Nay
  • Salazar (D-CO), Yea

Connecticut:

  • Dodd (D-CT), Yea
  • Lieberman (ID-CT), Nay

Delaware:

  • Biden (D-DE), Yea
  • Carper (D-DE), Yea

Florida:

  • Martinez (R-FL), Nay
  • Nelson (D-FL), Yea

Georgia:

  • Chambliss (R-GA), Nay
  • Isakson (R-GA), Nay

Hawaii:

  • Akaka (D-HI), Yea
  • Inouye (D-HI), Yea

Idaho:

  • Craig (R-ID), Nay
  • Crapo (R-ID), Nay

Illinois:

  • Durbin (D-IL), Yea
  • Obama (D-IL), Yea

Indiana:

  • Bayh (D-IN), Yea
  • Lugar (R-IN), Nay

Iowa:

  • Grassley (R-IA), Nay
  • Harkin (D-IA), Yea

Kansas:

  • Brownback (R-KS), Nay
  • Roberts (R-KS), Nay

Kentucky:

  • Bunning (R-KY), Nay
  • McConnell (R-KY), Nay

Louisiana:

  • Landrieu (D-LA), Yea
  • Vitter (R-LA), Nay

Maine:

  • Collins (R-ME), Yea
  • Snowe (R-ME), Yea

Maryland:

  • Cardin (D-MD), Yea
  • Mikulski (D-MD), Yea

Massachusetts:

  • Kennedy (D-MA), Yea
  • Kerry (D-MA), Yea

Michigan:

  • Levin (D-MI), Yea
  • Stabenow (D-MI), Yea

Minnesota:

  • Coleman (R-MN), Nay
  • Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea

Mississippi:

  • Cochran (R-MS), Nay
  • Lott (R-MS), Nay

Missouri:

  • Bond (R-MO), Nay
  • McCaskill (D-MO), Yea

Montana:

  • Baucus (D-MT), Yea
  • Tester (D-MT), Yea

Nebraska:

  • Hagel (R-NE), Yea
  • Nelson (D-NE), Yea

Nevada:

  • Ensign (R-NV), Nay
  • Reid (D-NV), Nay

New Hampshire:

  • Gregg (R-NH), Nay
  • Sununu (R-NH), Nay

New Jersey:

  • Lautenberg (D-NJ), Yea
  • Menendez (D-NJ), Yea

New Mexico:

  • Bingaman (D-NM), Yea
  • Domenici (R-NM), Nay

New York:

  • Clinton (D-NY), Yea
  • Schumer (D-NY), Yea

North Carolina:

  • Burr (R-NC), Nay
  • Dole (R-NC), Nay

North Dakota:

  • Conrad (D-ND), Yea
  • Dorgan (D-ND), Yea

Ohio:

  • Brown (D-OH), Yea
  • Voinovich (R-OH), Nay

Oklahoma:

  • Coburn (R-OK), Nay
  • Inhofe (R-OK), Nay

Oregon:

  • Smith (R-OR), Yea
  • Wyden (D-OR), Yea

Pennsylvania:

  • Casey (D-PA), Yea
  • Specter (R-PA), Nay

Rhode Island:

  • Reed (D-RI), Yea
  • Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea

South Carolina:

  • DeMint (R-SC), Nay
  • Graham (R-SC), Nay

South Dakota:

  • Johnson (D-SD), Not Voting
  • Thune (R-SD), Nay

Tennessee:

  • Alexander (R-TN), Nay
  • Corker (R-TN), Nay

Texas:

  • Cornyn (R-TX), Nay
  • Hutchison (R-TX), Nay

Utah:

  • Bennett (R-UT), Nay
  • Hatch (R-UT), Nay

Vermont:

  • Leahy (D-VT), Yea
  • Sanders (I-VT), Yea

Virginia:

  • Warner (R-VA), Nay
  • Webb (D-VA), Yea

Washington:

  • Cantwell (D-WA), Yea
  • Murray (D-WA), Yea

West Virginia:

  • Byrd (D-WV), Yea
  • Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea

Wisconsin:

  • Feingold (D-WI), Yea
  • Kohl (D-WI), Yea

Wyoming:

  • Barrasso (R-WY), Nay
  • Enzi (R-WY), Nay

Related news

  • “US Senate to vote on troop pullout from Iraq today” — Wikinews, July 18, 2007

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June 5, 2007

U.S. Senator Craig Thomas of Wyoming dies at age 74

U.S. Senator Craig Thomas of Wyoming dies at age 74

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Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Senator Craig Thomas.

U.S. Senator from Wyoming Craig L. Thomas (R), 74, has died of acute myeloid leukemia at the National Naval Medical Center located in Bethesda, Maryland. He died just hours after doctors had said that his chemotherapy was no longer having an effect on the cancer.

“At this difficult time, all we can do is give him as much love and support as possible,” said his wife Susan in a statement released by the Senator’s office.

“Wyoming had no greater advocate, taxpayers had no greater watchdog, and rural America had no greater defender than Craig Thomas. The Senate is a lesser place without Craig here, but the state of Wyoming and our nation are much better places because he was here,” said Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate leader in a statement to the press.

Thomas won his Senate seat in 2006 with 70% of the voters supporting him, despite canceling the last half of his campaign trail due to medical issues. He announced his condition just two days after the election. He began to receive chemotherapy after winning the election and returned to work in December, a month before he was scheduled to do so.

Thomas, who supported domestic energy and minerals production, helped to federal money to be spent on building a coal gasification plant in the state to keep jobs there, rather than overseas.

“[Thomas] is a very big loss to the people of this state. He carried the values that we treasure in Wyoming to Washington and had many successes,” said Wyoming state Governor Dave Freudenthal.

While Freudenthal is a Democrat and will be selecting a replacement for Thomas, the seat is not likely to shift party hands since Freudenthal must select one of three candidates offered by the Republican state central committee.

Thomas was serving his third 6 year term in the Senate.

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June 28, 2006

Failure for constitutional ban on flag-burning in U.S. Senate

Failure for constitutional ban on flag-burning in U.S. Senate

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

An amendment of the United States constitution banning the burning of the American flag failed by one vote in the Senate on Tuesday. The final tally was 66-34; two-thirds (67 of 100 senators) was required for the amendment to pass.

U.S. President, George W. Bush, gave a statement commending the bipartisan group of Senators for trying to pass the amendment.[1] It was sponsored by Orrin Hatch, a Republican Senator from Utah, and backed by the Republican Majority Leader Bill Frist, of Tennessee.

Even though some members of each party voted for the amendment, some on both sides strongly dissented. Daniel Inouye, a Democrat from the state of Hawaii and a World War II veteran, said — like many other Senators including Kentucky Republican Senator Mitch McConnell — the proposed amendment was against the constitutional right to free speech.

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
Flag Burning Amendment

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April 24, 2005

Bush nomination to UN post faces bi-partisan problems

Bush nomination to UN post faces bi-partisan problems

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Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton named North Korea as a proliferator of weapons of mass destruction in a speech at the American Center in Tokyo on Oct. 27, 2004

Sunday, April 24, 2005

George Bush’s controversial nominee for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, John R. Bolton, seemed stalled as new allegations surfaced in the Senate Committee’s second interview. Lawmakers from both parties, particularly Democrats, express strong reservations.

Democrats argue against Bolton

“He wants to be our top diplomat at the UN but his life has been something less than diplomatic,” Dick Durbin, the number two Democrat in the Senate, said on a Sunday talk show.

“He wants to work with people around the world. And he couldn’t work with people in his own office. And he’s supposed to be open, as our man at the UN, to ideas from other people,” Durbin said.

“He’s been a real tyrant when it came to people he worked with, who disagreed with him. This man doesn’t have the temperament for this job.”

There was no consensus Thursday whether the Senate committee should ask Bolton to return for more questioning. He testified for eight hours and presented a written draft on other questions, but the stream of allegations has only intensified, as well as a characterization of him as a boss who mistreated fellow workers and lost his temper frequently.

Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said Bolton would be hobbled in the job because of the allegations raised during the confirmation hearings. Dodd spoke on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Dodd maintains the Democrats raise objections to Bolton because of evidence he twisted intelligence analysis to fit his personal views. He said Bush should consider withdrawing the nomination.

“There are plenty of other good people who embrace his ideological views,” Dodd added.

Republicans divided

But some Republicans had a differing view. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) thought Bolton’s “forceful” personality made him the ideal candidate to lead U.S. efforts to reform the UN. He put little concern into Bolton’s alleged personnel problems, saying that Bolton’s supposed history of trying to get analysts who disagreed with him fired were unproven. McConnell is the second ranked Senate Republican. He was also speaking on the CBS program.

Lincoln Chafee, Republican Senator of Rhode Island, has said he is “less likely” to vote for the nominee as a result of the questions that are being raised about his credibility. Instead he sought out the opinion of former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Powell’s spokeswoman, Peggy Cifrino, said he returned calls Thursday to senators who wanted to discuss questions that have been raised about Bolton. Powell was the only former GOP secretary of state who did not sign a recent letter endorsing Bolton for the job. It is known that the two did not get along during Powell’s tenure in the Bush Administration. Powell’s former chief of staff has been quoted by the US press as saying Bolton would make an “abysmal ambassador.”

Some Republicans in Congress are doubtful that Bolton will win nomination now that the vote has been pushed back to May 12 to allow more time to investigate his history. Speaking on CNN television Senator Arlen Spector, R-PA, said the odds on Bolton were “too close to call.”

Bolton criticism of UN

Some wondered what Bush’s reasoning could be for nominating Bolton for the UN post since Bolton acknowledged saying in 1994 that the UN headquarters in New York “has 38 stories. If it lost ten stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.”

Also in 1994, Bolton said, “There is no such thing as the United Nations. There is an international community that occasionally can be led by the only real power left in the world, and that’s the United States, when it suits our interest and when we can get others to go along.” [1]

In response to criticism of these statements at his hearing, Bolton replied, “There’s not a bureaucracy in the world that couldn’t be made leaner.”

Presidential support

It appears to trained observers that Bush may have to yield his nomination to a Senate rejection. Behind the scenes, Bolton may be facing a question of withdraw or be pushed out. As President Bush asked Senators to support his nominee, Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said he strongly supports Bolton, but “I can’t speak for all of (GOP) leadership.”

President Bush continues to support his nominee, according to Whitehouse spokespersons. In an April 20 news briefing, press secretary Scott McClellan said in response to a question whether the Bolton nomination was lost, “No, absolutely not. I think what you’re seeing is some Democrats on the committee trumping up allegations and making unsubstantiated accusations against someone the President believes will do an outstanding job at the United Nations. He is someone who has been an effective manager, a strong diplomat who has gotten things done. And I think he’s earned the respect of many people that he has worked with because of what he’s done….people are playing politics with his nomination….He’s exactly the kind of person we need at the United Nations during this time of reform.”

On Sunday, White House spokeswoman Christie Parell, said the president is standing by Bolton as his nominee. “The president believes he’s exactly the man needed at the United Nations,” she said in reply to Dodd’s comments.

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