“It is hypocritical for the Senate to grandstand for political purposes while ignoring its own shortcomings that threaten the solvency of Social Security and Medicare,” Coburn wrote.
McConnell has announced that if Democrats insist on bringing the motion to the floor, it will not have a clean shot at passing.
Republicans are likely to tie up the Senate floor with all kinds of procedural mischief and introduce any number of amendments, including perhaps one on whether the Iraq War is actually “lost” as Reid has suggested.
One Senate GOP leadership aide said Democrats would be better off focusing on passing appropriations bills than trying to score political points.
“If they want to spend a whole week on a nonbinding political resolution ... that’s a choice they’re going to have to make,” the aide said.
The aide added that Democrats already have ginned up plenty of media attention on the no-confidence vote, which might be just what they are seeking. “My guess is they don’t want to spend a week on that,” he said. “They don’t have to bring it to the floor to get their purpose” accomplished.
But underlining how awkward the vote could be for Republicans, the other Republican Senators contacted either could not be reached or would not say how they planned to vote.
There is no recent history of the Senate holding a no-confidence vote. But there have been other comparable votes censuring or condemning presidents, Senators and Cabinet members. In 1886, for instance, the Senate voted to censure President Grover Cleveland’s attorney general, A.H. Garland, because he refused to hand over documents about the firing of a federal prosecutor.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.