The Campaign Spot

Without Kennedy and with Gregg, the Stimulus Is at 60 Votes

I’ll be taping a Red Meat in a few moments with Mark, but we just realized that while passage of the stimulus is still all but certain, Gregg’s return to the Senate–and his likely “no” vote–makes the vote on final passage a bit more interesting.

It passed last time with 61 votes. But this time, Kennedy will not be there.

Reid is also concerned because the three GOP moderates who support the bill–Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania–suggested they did not want provide the decisive 60th vote for passage. That would likely happen without Kennedy voting.

So far, there’s no indication Reid has won any more GOP votes for the measure. But an aide to one of the GOP moderates, who asked not to be identified, doubted any of the moderates would drop off.

“I can not imagine any of them would back away after all the painstaking negotiations,” the aide said.

Guess what, Sens. Snowe, Specter, and Collins? You are providing the decisive votes.


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