Senate Democrats on Monday advanced the $838 billion economic stimulus bill past Republican filibusters. The Senate Democrats were able to pass the vote, by 61 to 36, to close debate on the stimulus, gaining 3 Republican votes. The final roll call is online, and as expected Republican's Collins, Specter, and Snowe were the only senators to break party ranks. Interesting note that Senator Cornyn of Texas, who was a major opponent of the stimulus plan, did not vote.
If the Senate approves the measure tomorrow, as expected, negotiations to resolve differences with the $820 billion bill passed by the House are expected to focus in part on the Senate's decision to cut $40 billion from a state stabilization fund.
Another interesting fact was that Ted Kennedy was on the floor for the vote. For the first time since Inauguration Day, where he collapsed. He left the chamber soon after his "Aye" vote was recorded.
Senate Democrats got a victory, but it was at a cost.
Last night Rachel Maddow had Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska on her MSNBC show to discuss the stimulus package. Senator Nelson was one of the lead "centrists" who worked out the deal in the Senate. His argument with Rachel was that if there were no cuts, than there would be no Senate bill. He argued that spending on schools was still in the bill, and would be in other bills. He made a passioned argument, I just don't believe he made a compelling argument, though I do believe his work did get the 3 moderate Republican votes.
Watch it here: