Dems win Senate stimulus vote

Supporters of the bill successfully invoked cloture Monday afternoon; an up-or-down vote scheduled for Tuesday is now just a formality.

By Alex Koppelman

Published February 9, 2009 10:55PM (EST)

It didn't happen as quickly as Majority Leader Harry Reid wanted it to, but the Senate has just voted 61-36 to invoke cloture and end debate of the stimulus package. The bill's passage is now a foregone conclusion; that's a straight up-or-down vote requiring a simple majority.

All of the Senate's 56 Democrats voted in favor of cloture. They were joined by the two independents who caucus with the party, Vermont's Bernie Sanders and Connecticut's Joe Lieberman, and by three Republicans -- Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.

Senate rules now require 30 more hours of debate on the measure, so the actual up-or-down vote won't happen until Tuesday. After that, members of both houses will go into conference to work out the differences between the Senate and House versions of the bill.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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