Senate Democrats

Grand Obstruction Party Blocks Omnibus Bill Without Iraq Funding to Break Record

After engaging in unprecedented obstruction throughout the year, the Grand Obstruction Party finally broke the Senate’s record for cloture votes tonight, forcing the 62nd of the year. The previous record of 61 in a two-year term was set in 2001-2002, the last time Republicans were in the minority in the Senate.

By sticking with President Bush on issue after issue – from changing course in Iraq, to closing tax loopholes on big oil companies – and by filibustering measures that passed overwhelmingly, this year’s class of Bush Republicans shattered the two-year record in just the first year of session. Their feat was akin to Mark McGwire breaking Roger Maris’ home run record of 61 in a season by the All-Star break. Unfortunately, while Bush Republicans may be the real winners in their game of obstruction, the American people have lost.

Republicans broke record on vote to pass spending bill without Iraq funding:

Republicans Blocked Consolidated Appropriations Bill Without Iraq Funding. Republicans voted to block the motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) to the Reid, D-Nev., motion to concur in the House amendments to the Senate amendment to the bill that would provide $484.7 billion in discretionary spending in fiscal 2008 for all federal departments and agencies whose regular fiscal 2008 spending bills have not been enacted. The measure incorporates 11 previously separate appropriations bills: Agriculture; Commerce-Justice-Science; Energy-Water; Financial Services; Homeland Security; Interior-Environment; Labor-HHS-Education; Legislative Branch; Military Construction-VA; State-Foreign Operations; and Transportation-HUD. It would provide $3.7 billion in emergency funding for veterans programs and $31 billion for operations in Afghanistan and prohibit the funds from being used for operations in Iraq. The vote failed 44-51, with just one Republican voting in favor of cloture. [Senate Vote #436, HR 2764, 12/18/07]

The List of 62 cloture votes (31 rejected with 17 garnering 50 or more yeas) include:

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on the Reid Amendment to the Ethics and Lobbying Bill.  Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Reid, D-Nev., substitute amendment no. 3 that would overhaul congressional lobbying and ethics rules for senators and their staffs and restrict the use of and expand the definition of earmarks. It would prohibit senators and staff from accepting gifts and free meals, extend the time period before former senators can become lobbyists, prohibit lobbyist-funded travel and require trips funded by other private entities to be vetted by the Select Ethics Committee. Motion rejected 51-46: R 2-45; D 47-1; I 2-0. [Senate Vote #16, S 1, 1/17/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on the Gregg Amendment to the Minimum Wage Bill. Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Gregg, R-N.H., amendment no. 101 to the Baucus, D-Mont., substitute amendment. The Gregg amendment would provide for expedited consideration of up to four presidential rescission packages a year. The substitute would raise the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour over two years and provide $8.3 billion in small-business tax incentives. The tax provisions would be offset with revenue increases, including a $1 million cap on the amount of executive compensation that can be tax-deferred in any year and an extension of backward restrictions on certain sale-in-lease out deals. Motion rejected 49-48: R 47-1; D 1-46; I 1-1. [Senate Vote #22, HR 2, 1/24/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on the Minimum Wage Bill. Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the bill that would increase the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour over two years. Motion rejected 54-43: R 5-43; D 47-0; I 2-0. [Senate Vote #23, HR 2, 1/24/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on a Concurrent Resolution Expressing the Bipartisan Resolution on Iraq Troop Levels. Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the motion to proceed to a concurrent resolution that would express the sense of the Congress that it is not in U.S. interest to deepen the country’s military involvement in Iraq by increasing U.S. troops levels there. Motion rejected 0-97: R 0-48; D 0-47; I 0-2. [Senate Vote #43, S Con Res 2, 2/1/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on a Bill Opposing an Increase in Iraq Troop Levels. Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the motion to proceed to the bill that would express the sense of Congress opposing an increase in U.S. troop levels in Iraq and state that Congress should not withhold funds for U.S. forces already serving there. Motion rejected 49-47: R 2-45; D 46-1; I 1-1. [Senate Vote #44, S 470, 2/5/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on a Bill Disapproving of the Surge. Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the motion to proceed to the bill that would express the sense of Congress supporting U.S. military serving in Iraq, while disapproving of President Bush’s decision to deploy more than 20,000 additional U.S. combat troops to that country. It also would require the president to submit a report to Congress every 30 days on military progress in Iraq. Motion rejected 56-34: R 7-33; D 48-0; I 1-1. [Senate Vote #51, S 574, 2/17/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on Cornyn Amendment to a Bill Implementing the Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Cornyn, R-Texas, amendment no. 312 to the Reid, D-Nev., substitute amendment no. 275. The Cornyn amendment would criminalize the recruitment of terrorists and the financial support for families of terrorists, expand the time frame that the Homeland Security Department can detain certain illegal immigrants, allow for the deportation of suspected terrorists whose visas are revoked and increase penalties for phone calls to service members’ families falsely claiming the family member has been killed. The substitute would implement remaining recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission and aviation security screening measures; and authorize more than $4 billion for rail and mass transit security, $3.1 billion for homeland security grant programs, and $3.3 billion for a new emergency grant program to improve communications among first-responders. Motion rejected 46-49: R 45-1; D 1-46; I 0-2. [Senate Vote #68, S 4, 3/9/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on the Intelligence Authorization Bill.Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the bill that would authorize classified amounts in fiscal 2007 for U.S. intelligence activities and agencies including the CIA, the National Security Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Motion rejected 41-40: R 0-39; D 39-1; I 2-0. [Senate Vote #130, S 372, 4/16/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on the Intelligence Authorization Bill. Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the bill that would authorize classified amounts in fiscal 2007 for U.S. intelligence activities and agencies including the CIA, the National Security Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Motion rejected 50-45: R 2-45; D 46-0; I 2-0. [Senate Vote #131, S 372, 4/17/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on the Prescription Drug Bill. Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the motion to proceed to the bill that would allow the Health and Human Services Department to negotiate with drug companies the prices of drugs covered under the Medicare Part D prescription drug program. Motion rejected 55-42: R 6-41; D 47-1; I 2-0. [Senate Vote #132, S 3, 4/18/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on the Feingold Amendment to the Water Resources Bill.Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Feingold, D-Wis., amendment no. 1098 to the Levin, D-Mich., amendment no. 1097. The Feingold amendment would require the withdrawal U.S. troops from Iraq except for limited missions by March 31, 2008. The Levin amendment would commence redeployment of U.S. troops from Iraq by October 1, 2007, and require full withdrawal within 180 days, but allow the president to waive the second requirement.Motion rejected 29-67: R 0-47; D 28-19; I 1-1. [Senate Vote #167, HR 1495, 5/16/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on the Warner Amendment to the Water Resources Bill. Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Warner, R-Va., amendment no. 1134 that would require the president to withhold funding for military operations in Iraq if the Iraqi government fails to meet certain benchmarks. The president could waive the requirement if he submits in writing to Congress a justification for the waiver. Motion rejected 52-44: R 44-3; D 7-40; I 1-1. [Senate Vote #168, HR 1495, 5/16/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on the Kennedy Amendment to the Immigration Reform Bill. Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Kennedy, D-Mass., substitute amendment no. 1150, as amended, that would overhaul U.S. immigration policies and institute new border security measures, including an electronic verification system. It would allocate some green cards on a merit-based system based on certain criteria, including a high-demand occupation, proficiency in English and higher education degrees. Half of the green cards would be allocated based on family relations. It also would provide for a temporary guest worker program that would allow workers to remain in the United States for up to six years, provided that they return to their home country for a year after every two years they remain in the United States. (At the conclusion of the vote, Reid, D-Nev., entered a motion to reconsider the vote, to be voted on at a later time.) Motion rejected 33-63: R 0-47; D 32-15; I 1-1. [Senate Vote #203, S 1348, 6/7/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on the Immigration Reform Bill.Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the bill that would overhaul U.S. immigration policies and offer a path to citizenship for most illegal immigrants in the country.Motion rejected 34-61: R 0-47; D 33-13; I 1-1. [Senate Vote #204, S 1348, 6/7/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on the Kennedy Amendment to the Immigration Reform Bill. Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Kennedy, D-Mass., substitute amendment no. 1150, as amended, that would overhaul U.S. immigration policies and institute new border security measures, including an electronic verification system. It would allocate some green cards on a merit-based system based on certain criteria, including a high-demand occupation, proficiency in English and higher education degrees. Half of the green cards would be allocated based on family relations. It also would provide for a temporary guest worker program that would allow workers to remain in the United States for up to six years, provided that they return to their home country for a year after every two years they remain in the United States. Motion rejected 45-50: R 7-38; D 37-11; I 1-1. [Senate Vote #206, S 1348, 6/7/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on the Joint Resolution Expressing a Lack of Confidence in the Attorney General. Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the motion to proceed to the joint resolution that would express the sense of the Senate that Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales no longer holds the confidence of the Senate and the American people. Motion rejected 53-38: R 7-37; D 45-0; I 1-1. [Senate Vote #207, S J Res 14, 6/11/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on the Baucus Amendment to the CLEAN Energy Act.Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Baucus, D-Mont., amendment no. 1704 to the Reid substitute amendment no. 1502. The Baucus amendment would establish $32.1 billion of tax incentives for alternative energy sources while imposing taxes on the oil and gas industry. It would create $3.6 billion worth of renewable energy bonds, establish $11 billion in tax incentives for renewable energy and authorize $2.5 billion for the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act. The substitute would overhaul national energy policies including requiring the annual use of 15 billion gallons of biofuels by 2015, increasing the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards to 35 miles per gallon by 2020 and making petroleum price gouging a federal crime in a "national energy emergency." It would also encourage carbon sequestration research, require the federal government to purchase 15 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015 and direct the State Department to pursue strategic partnerships with major energy-consuming and energy-producing nations.Motion rejected 57-36: R 10-34; D 45-2; I 2-0. [Senate Vote #223, HR 6, 6/21/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on the Employee Free Choice Bill.Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Reid, D-Nev., motion to proceed to the bill that would allow union organizers to bypass secret-ballot elections if they can gather a majority of eligible employees’ signatures on a petition in support of union formation.Motion rejected 51-48: R 1-48; D 48-0; I 2-0. [Senate Vote #227, HR 800, 6/26/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill.Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the bill that would overhaul U.S. immigration policies, provide for a temporary guest worker program and institute new border security measures, including an electronic verification system. Motion rejected 46-53: R 12-37; D 33-15; I 1-1. [Senate Vote #235, S 1639, 6/28/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on the Webb Amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill.Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Webb, D-Va., amendment no. 2012 to the Levin, D-Mich., substitute amendment no. 2011. The Webb amendment would mandate minimum intervals between deployments for troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. It would require active duty forces to be guaranteed as much time at home as they served while deployed. National Guard and reservists would be guaranteed three years at home between deployments. The substitute would authorize $648.3 billion for defense programs in fiscal 2008, including $127.5 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It also would authorize $143.5 billion for operations and maintenance; $109.9 billion for procurement; $122.9 billion for military personnel and $74.7 billion for research development, testing and evaluation. Motion rejected 56-41: R 7-40; D 48-0; I 1-1. [Senate Vote #241, HR 1585, 7/11/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on the Levin Amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill. Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Levin, D-Mich., amendment no. 2087 to the Levin substitute amendment no. 2011. The Levin amendment would mandate a drawdown and redeployment of U.S. forces in Iraq, with certain exceptions, by the end of April 2008. Redeployment would begin within 120 days of enactment. Troop activity in Iraq would be limited to protecting U.S. personnel, training Iraqi security forces and conducting counterterrorism operations against al Qaeda and other international terrorist organizations. The substitute would authorize $648.3 billion for defense programs in fiscal 2008, including $127.5 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It also would authorize $143.5 billion for operations and maintenance; $109.9 billion for procurement; $122.9 billion for military personnel and $74.7 billion for research development, testing and evaluation. Motion rejected 52-47: R 4-45; D 47-1; I 1-1. [Senate Vote #252, HR 1585, 7/18/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on the D.C. Voting Rights Bill. Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Reid, D-Nev., motion to proceed to the bill that would increase the membership of the House of Representatives to 437, by granting a seat to the District of Columbia and an additional seat to Utah. Motion rejected 57-42: R 8-41; D 47-1; I 2-0. [Senate Vote #339, S 1257, 9/18/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on the Specter Amendment (Habeas Corpus Rights) to the Defense Authorization Bill.Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Specter, R-Pa., amendment no. 2022 to the Levin, D-Mich., substitute amendment no. 2011. The Specter amendment would restore habeas corpus rights to enemy combatants under U.S. detention, as well as those awaiting military reviews that will determine their legal status. The substitute would authorize $648.3 billion for defense programs in fiscal 2008, including $127.5 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It also would authorize $143.5 billion for operations and maintenance; $109.9 billion for procurement; $122.9 billion for military personnel and $74.7 billion for research development, testing and evaluation. Motion rejected 56-43: R 6-42; D 49-0; I 1-1. [Senate Vote #340, HR 1585, 9/19/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on the DREAM Act.  Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Reid, D-Nev., motion to proceed to the bill that would allow children of illegal immigrants who entered the United States before age 16 and who have lived here at least five years to gain conditional legal status and eventual citizenship if they attend college or join the military for at least two years. Motion rejected 52-44: R 12-36; D 38-8; I 2-0. [Senate Vote #394, S 2205, 10/24/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on Supplemental to Fund Military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the McConnell, R-Ky., motion to proceed to the bill that would appropriate $70 billion in emergency supplemental funds for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for fiscal 2008. Motion rejected 45-53: R 44-3; D 0-49 (ND 0-44, SD 0-5); I 1-1. [Senate Vote #410, S 2340, 11/16/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on the Iraq Supplemental Calling for a Gradual Drawdown of Forces. Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Reid, D-Nev., motion to proceed to the bill that would appropriate $50 billion in emergency supplemental funds for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for fiscal 2008. The bill would require troops to begin withdrawing from Iraq within 30 days of enactment, with a goal of withdrawing most troops by Dec. 15, 2008. Motion rejected 53-45: R 4-43; D 48-1; I 1-1. [Senate Vote #411, HR 4156, 11/16/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on the Farm Bill. Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Harkin, D-Iowa, substitute amendment no. 3500 that would authorize $286 billion from fiscal 2008-2012 for federal farm, nutrition assistance, rural development and agricultural trade programs. It would create a new optional subsidy called the Average Crop Revenue program, which would tie payments to state-based farm revenue figures. Farmers making more than $750,000 a year in adjusted gross income would not be able to collect subsidies in 2010 and subsequent crop years. Motion rejected 55-42: R 4-42; D 49-0; I 2-0. [Senate Vote #412, HR 2419, 11/16/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on the AMT Patch. Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Reid, D-Nev., motion to proceed to the bill that would provide a one-year adjustment to exempt an additional 21 million taxpayers from paying the alternative minimum tax on income from 2007. To offset the cost of the measure, the bill includes provisions intended to raise revenue, such as taxing the carried interest of private equity managers, venture capitalists and some real estate investors at up to 35 percent instead of the current 15 percent. Motion rejected 46-48: R 0-47; D 44-1; I 2-0.  [Senate Vote #414, HR 3996, 12/6/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on the Energy Bill. Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Reid, D-Nev., motion to concur in the House amendments to the Senate amendments to the bill that would require new corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards of 35 miles per gallon for cars and light trucks, and require 36 billion gallons of biofuels to be blended with gasoline by 2022. It would require electric utilities to produce at least 15 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020 and direct the Energy Department to set new energy efficiency standards. It also includes a $21.5 billion package of tax incentives that would be offset in part by eliminating or reducing $13 billion in subsidies for major oil and gas companies. Motion rejected 53-42: R 5-39; D 46-3; I 2-0. [Senate Vote #416, HR 6, 12/7/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on the Energy Bill, again. Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Reid, D-Nev., motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment with an amendment that would require new corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards of 35 miles per gallon for cars and light trucks, and require 36 billion gallons of biofuels to be blended with gasoline by 2022. It also would direct the Energy Department to set new energy efficiency standards. The Senate amendment would drop a provision that would have required utilities to produce 15 percent of their electricity from alternative sources by 2020. The amendment also includes a $21.8 billion package of tax incentives that would be offset in part by eliminating or reducing $13 billion in subsidies for major oil and gas companies. Motion rejected 59-40: R 9-39; D 48-1; I 2-0. [Senate Vote #425, HR 6, 12/13/07]

The Senate Failed to Invoke Cloture on the Omnibus Appropriations Bill Without Funding for Iraq. Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) to the Reid, D-Nev., motion to concur in the House amendments to the Senate amendment to the bill that would provide $484.7 billion in discretionary spending in fiscal 2008 for all federal departments and agencies whose regular fiscal 2008 spending bills have not been enacted. The measure incorporates 11 previously separate appropriations bills: Agriculture; Commerce-Justice-Science; Energy-Water; Financial Services; Homeland Security; Interior-Environment; Labor-HHS-Education; Legislative Branch; Military Construction-VA; State-Foreign Operations; and Transportation-HUD. It would provide $3.7 billion in emergency funding for veterans programs and $31 billion for operations in Afghanistan and prohibit the funds from being used for operations in Iraq. Motion rejected 44-51: R 1-48; D 41-3 (ND 37-2, SD 4-1); I 2-0. [Senate Vote #436, HR 2764, 12/18/07]

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