Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) introduced an amendment to the HUD and Transportation appropriation bill to strip ACORN of all federal funding. A week ago, Johanns wouldn’t have gotten the amendment to the floor. Today, however, after three straight days of BigGovernment.com’s video exposés of ACORN offices in Washington DC, New York City, and Baltimore offering assistance to pimping, tax evasion, and trafficking in underage Salvadorean girls, Johanns not only got his vote — but he got an impressive bipartisan showing. The Senate passed the Johanns amendment 83-7.
At the beginning of the vote, it appeared that Democrats might resist. Initially, a half-dozen Democrats cast votes in opposition to the amendment. A few more cast votes against it as the rest of the Senate voted, but the tide appeared to shift. More and more Democrats signed onto the amendment, and votes started changing. One male voice could be heard in the chamber saying, “I want to change my vote!” Among those who changed their votes: Tom Udall (D-NM), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Herb Kohl (D-WI).
I do not have the official roll call record of the vote yet, but three of the seven Democrats voting against the bill were Dick Durbin (D-IL), Roland Burris (D-IL), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT). I’ll get the rest in a few minutes, but it’s worth repeating what Jim Geraghty said on the Twitter stream: “Who were the seven Child-Whoring Pimp Assistance Program defenders?”
The big question will be whether the House follows suit. Nancy Pelosi may not be inclined to let an amendment come to the floor, but James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles may not be done yet, either. A few more of these videos and even Pelosi will have little choice but to slam the door on ACORN. The big test will be whether the Johanns amendment survives a conference committee. This isn’t over yet.
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