A total 11 Senate Republicans–including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)–crossed the aisle to vote to advance Senate Democrats’ border spending bill.
Two vulnerable Democrats up for reelection, Sens. Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA), joined 31 Republicans in voting no. 50 Democrats voted yes.
The 11 Republicans who voted with almost all the Democrats are: Rubio and Sens. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
The bill is now up for debate and amendment, after which it will face a second cloture vote requiring 60 votes to succeed. GOP aides are confidently predicting the bill will fall on that second vote, but the vote to advance the bill quickly raised concerns on the right about whether Republicans would block it.
“What Republicans have done here is create a narrow goal post between the Senate bill, which grants Obama everything he wants, and the House bill which spends less money but weakens current law and implicitly gives Obama a green light on DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals],” Daniel Horowitz, a conservative activist with Madison Project, told Breitbart News. “Clearly, the smell of jet fuel from their departing flights has prevented them from providing any opposition to the border madness.”
During the vote, Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) switched his vote from yes to no. A Senate aide said McConnell changed his vote because with Hagan and Landrieu voting no, he thought it might not achieve cloture and wanted to express his opposition to the underlying measure in what might have been the only opportunity.
The Democrats’ spending bill includes $840 million for issues other than the border crisis–including $615 million for wildfire fighting and $225 million for Israel’s Iron Dome. The bill spends $2.7 billion on the border crisis.