The Corner

Senate Whip Count

The Senate will vote shortly to end debate on the House-passed continuing resolution that defunds Obamacare. Senators Ted Cruz (R., Texas), Mike Lee (R., Utah), and their allies have sought to make this the all-important vote on Obamacare defunding. If the vote is successful, as it almost certainly will be, Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) will propose a measure to strip the defunding language, and pass it with a simple majority of 51 votes. Accordingly, defunders argue that a vote for cloture is effectively a vote to fund Obamacare, a charge that many of their GOP colleagues reject.

Leadership is said to be whipping agressively in favor of cloture. Defunders realize they won’t be able to prevent Reid from amending the bill, but still consider their campaign a success. “We’re going to walk out of this with our heads high,” says a GOP aide close to the effort. ”Anything north of twelve votes is a huge victory for us.” Senate sources say as many as 20 Republicans may vote against cloture, and potentially more if a number of undecideds can be persuaded. Another GOP aide says that the cloture vote “might be closer than we anticipated a couple of days ago,” because of several Senators being “spooked by phone calls” to their offices. Because enough Republicans have already announced their intention to support cloture – only six are required — their colleagues may see little incentive to join them if their votes won’t affect the outcome. Senator Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), for example, recently announced on Twitter: “If votes stay as is, I will vote to defund Obamacare by voting against cloture.”

Andrew Stiles — Andrew Stiles is a political reporter for National Review Online. He previously worked at the Washington Free Beacon, and was an intern at The Hill newspaper. Stiles is a 2009 ...

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Update on Alfie Evans

In the few hours since I sent in the piece below, a remarkable succession of events has occurred that paint the decision of the UK authorities in ever-bleaker colors. In the hospital, Alfie was removed from the respirator in accordance with the court’s decision. For the moment, however, he has continued ... Read More
Sports

Hurray for the NBA

Last month, just before the Final Four, I did a Q&A on college basketball with our Theodore Kupfer. Teddy K. is back, by popular demand, joined by two other experts: Vivek Dave, an old friend of mine from Michigan, who has long lived in Chicago, and David French, National Review’s Kentucky Kid, now ... Read More
Economy & Business

Trade Misunderstandings

I was distracted by other policy topics last week but not enough not to notice Peter Navarro’s article in the Wall Street Journal, headlined “China’s Faux Comparative Advantage.” Considering Navarro’s position in the White House, it is unfortunate that it demonstrates some serious misunderstandings ... Read More
Culture

Monday Links

A Supercut of Epic Movie Explosions. Can You Solve These 10 Medieval Riddles? The cost to make a Margherita pizza: $1.77. How much restaurants charge on average for a pizza: $12. The actual costs of restaurant foods. Vintage animation lessons -- how to make things cute. London's "Great ... Read More
World

On Trade, No One Is Waiting for Washington

President Donald Trump’s flips and flops on trade are now as ubiquitous as his 5:00 a.m. tweets. Many predicted that trade-expansion efforts would come to a standstill and world commerce would suffer amidst all the uncertainty. Instead, the precise opposite has happened. In the last few months, it’s become ... Read More
National Security & Defense

Trump’s Syria Quandary

President Trump raised eyebrows recently when he ended a tweet lauding the airstrikes he’d ordered against chemical-weapons facilities in Syria with the words “mission accomplished.” The phrase, of course, became infamous in the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq, when President Bush used it in a speech ... Read More