Today, the Senate invoked cloture on a bill that provides states with $26 billion in funding for Medicaid and to prevent mass layoffs of teachers. These two streams of funding have been added to — and then cut from — bill after bill, because conservatives objected to their cost. Initially, the bill that was voted on today added $5 billion to the deficit, but it was tweaked to include larger spending offsets. And according to the Congressional Budget Office, it now decreases the deficit by $1.3 billion over ten years through cuts to food stamps and closing corporate tax loopholes. Two Republicans — Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) — voted to invoke cloture and end the ongoing filibuster. The rest of the Republican caucus, however, voted no. That’s 38 Republican senators who voted against a deficit reducing jobs bill. (Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) didn’t vote.) The Wonk Room explains how this vote clearly puts the lie to the notion that Republicans really want small spending measures to pass, but only if they’re “paid for.”
38 Senate Republicans vote to filibuster a deficit-reducing jobs bill.