Wednesday, July 14, 2004


Beep, Beep, Beep


Another good summary from

GAY MARRIAGE AMENDMENT VOTE HURTING SENATE LEADERSHIP. Last week -- sensing a solid victory in their attempt to kill the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage -- Senate Democrats leaders announced they would not fight GOP plans to bring the proposed amendment to a straight up-or-down floor vote on Wednesday. John Kerry and John Edwards even announced they would fly back to vote against it. Apparently, that wasn't what GOP leaders were counting on to take place, as they now have GOP Senators who support the amendment filibustering it on the Senate floor in order to block the up-or-down vote. Why? According to the AP, it's because they now fear that an absolute majority of the Senate will vote against the amendment (including Republican Senators Hagel, McCain, Lugar, Grassley, Campbell, Collins, Warner, Snowe, Chafee, and others). Now, it looks like the leadership will -- rather bizarrely -- call a vote to invoke cloture (i.e., "force" an end to the fake filibuster they are coordinating) so that they could then claim a mini-victory if 60 Senators voted to hold a vote on the amendment itself. Some Republicans want to hold votes on two versions of the amendment, even though no hearings were even held on one of the versions. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) says the vote this week is essential because same-sex marriage would be "the death knell of our society." Other GOP Senators want the vote cancelled entirely, feeling they should instead be working on issues relating to the economy and international matters. GOP leaders are reportedly worried they will even fall short of the 60 votes needed for cloture -- even though they are pressing amendment opponents to cast a party-line vote on the cloture question to avoid embarrassing President Bush. Regardless of how the vote goes down, everyone agrees the amendment will fall far short of passage. Amendment sponsor Wayne Allard (R-CO) said "I don't expect it to pass ... It's likely we will have to work on this amendment [in Congress] for several years." Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) also predicted the amendment would certainly fail, but vowed that it "absolutely" will "be back" again for another vote someday.

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