Friday, February 16, 2007

Smith breaks ranks with Senate GOP, says he'll vote against escalation

After a season of flip-flopping by Oregon's junior senator, here's where things stand this afternoon.

From Election Central at TPM:
Smith's press secretary, R.C. Hammond, tells Election Central that Smith will vote for cloture, despite Minority Leader Mitch McConell's call for Republicans to block a vote.

Smith had previously voted against cloture on the earlier Warner measure, joining with GOPers upset with Reid's refusal to bring up an additional resolution of support for funding of the troops. Smith subsequently signed on to a letter with six other GOP Senators about their determination to bring the Warner anti-surge resolution to the floor.

Dem Senate leader Harry Reid has called their bluff by calling for a vote tomorrow on whether to allow the simpler House anti-escalation resolution to go to the floor. And now Smith has indicated that he'll support it.

That brings our total of GOP Senators who are either likely or certain to support cloture tomorrow to four: Senators Smith, Warner, Snowe, and Collins. By our count, the Dems may need 11 GOP Senators to get to the magic number of 60.

Have I underestimated Smith's actions on this one (although his motives remain suspect as ever)? We'll know tomorrow.

No comments: