, our poor, beleaguered Senators can return home for Christmas.
So eager was Harry Reid to adjourn the Congressional session he once threatened to extend through January 5, he actually interrupted Sen. Mark Kirk, urging him to hurry along a speech explaining his opposition to the treaty. How thoughtless of Kirk. Who cares about his thoughts on missile defense and nuclear weapons when Barbara Boxer has a plane to catch?
Stay tuned for details, including the roll. We'll let you know exactly which Republicans voted aye...UPDATE
: Shortly before ratifying New START, the Senate passed the 9/11 First Responders health bill by unanimous consent
after a funding deal was struck. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) had been the primary hold out, but has since said he's satisfied with the compromise, which altered the bill significantly.UPDATE II
: The Washington Times'
Eli Lake tweets
that 71 votes is the lowest total of "ayes" an arms control treaty of this sort has received in the US Senate.UPDATE III
: Of the 71 ayes, 13 were provided by Republicans. The roster of ignominy:
Bennett (UT) - retiring
Gregg (NH) - retiring
Voinovich (OH) - retiring
Bravo to the Republican Senators who refused to sign on to this flawed treaty. Not a single Democrat voted no.UPDATE III
: The Cable contends
that Republicans' negotiating efforts wrung meaningful concessions from the administration, and the notion of a GOP "collapse" is a myth:
The myth of a "collapse" was created by the fact that almost no Republican senators would reveal their positions on New START until the final vote was imminent, except for supporter Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN). The seemingly unified GOP stance on the treaty for most of the autumn and the decision to totally defer to Kyl was a negotiating strategy -- one that actually paid off in the end, to the tune of $84 billion dollars, which the Obama administration promised for nuclear modernization. That's a relative victory, even though many will call the treaty's ratification a defeat for the GOP.