Republicans were in total disarray Thursday after leader Mitch McConnell blinked and decided to allow a floor vote on saving the country from economic disaster by raising the debt limit. McConnell made that decision but apparently didn’t do a vote count beforehand. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer scheduled the vote for 7:30 p.m. ET Thursday. Within an hour of the vote, it’s not at all clear that McConnell can pull it off.

Thursday, Oct 7, 2021 · 11:38:17 PM +00:00 · Joan McCarter

Voting started. So far, McConnell, Murkowski, and Cornyn have voted with Dems. So did Thune. So much for that little bit of posturing for the press.

Thursday, Oct 7, 2021 · 11:40:45 PM +00:00 · Joan McCarter

Apparently, the conference wanted to give consent to pass the thing with a simple majority vote, but Texas Sen. Ted Cruz refused to allow it to happen. He loves their hatred.

Thursday, Oct 7, 2021 · 11:45:15 PM +00:00 · Joan McCarter

And now Ohio’s Portman crosses over to help. Three more. So much for Mr. Principled Romney. He voted with the Trumpists.

Thursday, Oct 7, 2021 · 11:50:09 PM +00:00 · Joan McCarter

Barrasso a yes, so two more.


Thursday, Oct 7, 2021 · 11:53:00 PM +00:00 · Joan McCarter

Capito a yes. So just one more. There are just 33 no votes—all R of course—so the remaining 8 must be fighting it out to see who has to be the final yes. Ooops, Wicker’s a “no” so it’s just 7 drawing straws now.

Friday, Oct 8, 2021 · 12:05:05 AM +00:00 · Joan McCarter

Blunt, who is retiring, provides the 10th vote. It’ll break filibuster and pass.

Friday, Oct 8, 2021 · 12:06:40 AM +00:00 · Joan McCarter

And now Rounds. So 11 Rs, three of whom are retiring and others in leadership.

Friday, Oct 8, 2021 · 12:10:40 AM +00:00 · Joan McCarter

Filibuster overcome, the Senate moves on to final passage. 

Friday, Oct 8, 2021 · 12:32:20 AM +00:00 · Joan McCarter

And it’s officially done. In the Senate, anyway. There will be far less drama in the House (it has to pass there, too). 


It’s not very often that he has this problem. His fellow Republicans are always in lockstep with him, unless he gives them special permission to “vote their conscience” if they’re Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski. But McConnell had a tough time Thursday getting the 10 votes necessary to break a filibuster. His members were filibustering him—even his leadership team.


McConnell had to have two private meetings to try to twist the necessary arms. Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski was the lone volunteer to say aloud before the vote that she would support it. “I’m not willing to let this train go off the cliff,” she said.

The Trumpiest among them were apoplectic. Case in point, one Lindsey Graham.


Democrats were ready to step up with some advice for McConnell.


McConnell clearly misread his conference—and his influence on them versus Trump’s, who attacked McConnell for conceding to Democrats to, you know, save the global economy. Trump really does rule their world.

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