It went barely noticed today in all the sprawling controversy surrounding Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey last night, but it’s right there in plain sight on the roll call record, unearthed by the Palmer Report research team. Three key Republican Senators came together to kill off one of Trump’s favorite pieces of legislation, in what may or may not be a sign that they’re now prepared to use the Senate to shut him down.
Today’s Senate vote was a Motion to Proceed on H. J. Res. 36, which has been framed as a waste prevention bill, but is instead an attempt allowing increased pollution and emissions. Forty-nine Republican Senators voted in favor of it. But three key Republicans – Lindsey Graham, John McCain and Susan Collins – all voted against it (source: senate.gov). Their three votes, combined with every Senate Democrat and Independent voting against it – caused the motion to fail. And so the bill, in its current form, at least, is dead.
McCain and Graham are not exactly known as environmentalists. And yet they chose this bill to suddenly take a stand against a Donald Trump-backed piece of legislation, and they did it just one day after Trump fired James Comey. One vote does not make a pattern, and so we must now watch the next few votes on legislation in the Senate to determine whether these Senators are now rejecting everything that Trump sends their way, as a method of shutting him down.
It’s worth noting that Collins, Graham, and McCain are the three Republican Senators who have voice the most concern about Trump’s Russia scandal over the past months. It’s equally notable that their three votes alone can serve to shift the entire balance of power in the Senate, as it leaves the GOP with just forty-nine other votes, which is not a majority. So the three of them can effectively take control of the Senate. Help fund Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report