Thursday, February 13, 2014

Senate secrecy

Normally, the Senate clerk reads the names of Senators voting for and against a pending measure after completing the first call of the roll. Thereafter, the clerk usually reads each additional name as remaining Senators vote, but not noting if the lawmaker switched positions. Yesterday was different.

At the request of the Minority Leader, the Majority Leader told the clerk not to repeat the names. Sen. McConnell needed almost an hour to convince enough of his colleagues to vote to end debate on the debt limit increase bill. Eventually, and only after he and the Minority Whip themselves voted to end debate, another 6 Republicans changed their votes.

This became an issue because reporters asked why the usual "recap" procedure was not followed. Sen. Reid's staff finally explained.

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