Remember President Obama's American Jobs Act that he announced in a speech 'round 'bout a month ago? Well, it hasn't even been shitcanned in the Senate like all other pieces of legislation yet! That's happening in oh another hour or two.
The AJA needs sixty votes to break a filibuster and proceed to debate. It will not get sixty votes, and it will die, and then be split up into smaller, carved-up bills. Democratic leaders would hope, then, that tonight's vote can at least get 50 or 51 out of 53 Democrats on board to show that it has majority support, boosting their chances of passing parts later on. Being Democrats, however, they will most likely fuck this up, thanks to their few "centrists" who are determined to ruin party unity at all times. From TNR's Jonathan Cohn:
But that's going to be a lot harder if Reid can't round up the 50. And right now the prospects look very mixed, according to multiple sources in and around Capitol Hill. Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson and West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin have already said they won't vote to break the filibuster. New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen says she's a "yes" vote — but only if she's present. And she might not be, because she agreed previously to be in her home state to collect an award. (She has apparently told Reid she'll stay in Washington if her vote is necessary to pass the bill. But, of course, it's not going to pass, so that could be meaningless.)
They are actually having to work around a Senator's personal scheduling problems on a significant vote. It's not like she's suddenly contracted appendicitis. She simply feels compelled to pick up an AWARD FOR HERSELF. This isn't the Award for Achievement in the Field of Sucking at Attending Votes, either, which would be excusable. From the Huffington Post:
Shaheen is receiving an award from the New England Council at a 4:30 p.m. reception Tuesday. She is also expected to speak at the event. The council represents New England businesses and awards a "New Englander of the Year" for his or her work to support the region's economy.
What could possibly lead a voting body to give a member of the 112th Congress an award for working to support the economy?
[Image via AP]