Casey (D-PA), Yea
Specter (R-PA), Yea (bolding is mine).
The vote on the rule providing consideration of the conference report 234-185, with 11 Democrats joining all Republicans in dissent. The rule allows for one hour of debate prior to a final vote.
We will have full results of this important vote in tomorrow's entry. I estimate that it will pass with around 230 votes, with all Republicans joining about 20 Democrats in opposition. The Senate will presumably vote on the conference report at some point tomorrow as well, to give the President a big victory on his 100th day in office.
It is CRITICAL that, after a couple month honeymoon, a serious Democratannounces a primary challenge to Specter. There shouldn't be any personalattacks that will piss him off, but just a "we need a REAL Democrat" challenge.Either it unseats Specter, or it does the very important work of holding his feet to the fire, make him vote like a Democrat to appeal to the Democratic primary electorate. That is of the utmost importance.
One odd element of this that I can see becoming "important" down the road is that Specter was one of the very few Republicans to occasionally vote with Obama, and therefore by the standard of the Looks, show that Obama's bipartisan. So ironically this will lead to less Republicans voting with Obama, therefore providing "evidence" for the Jay Costs and Michael Barones to say that Obama is so "polarizing" and not living up to his promise.