The Senate has failed to invoke cloture on President Obama’s jobs bill, falling well short of the 60 vote requirement. The count currently stands at 50-48 in favor, though the vote will open remain for several more hours to allow Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.) to fly back from Boston after attending an award ceremony there. Shaheen has indicated that she will vote yes, which would just barely give Democrats the simply majority they were hoping for.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) did not vote, as he is currently recovering from surgery for early-stage prostate cancer. The remaining 46 Republicans voted no, along with Sens. Ben Nelson (D., Neb.) and Jon Tester (D., Mont.), who called the president’s plan “an expensive, temporary fix to a problem that needs a big, long-term solution.” Both senators are facing difficult reelections in 2012.
The presumed final vote count of 51-48 is misleading, however, as a number Democratic (or Democrat-aligned) Senators, such as Joe Lieberman (I., Ct.), Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) and Jim Webb (D., Va.), voted for cloture despite their overriding opposition to the president’s plan. All three said they would not have supported final passage of the bill in its current form.