Six Senate Republicans switched from "nay" to "aye" on the critical vote allowing the nation's debt limit to be extended, a copy of the official Senate vote tally sheet provided to CQ Roll Call on Thursday suggests.
The tally sheet is the only record of which senators may have switched their votes because the Senate clerk — in a break with tradition — didn't name names during the nearly hourlong vote . Capitol Hill reporters are protesting that change, still within the rules, as lacking transparency.
The actual tally sheet that Senate clerks use to manually record votes is available to interested parties in the Capitol, and CQ Roll Call has posted a PDF copy . Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming, John Cornyn of Texas, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, John McCain of Arizona and John Thune of South Dakota appear to have switched their votes from "nay" to "aye." It is possible that some of the markings on the page are due to clerical error.
As reported Wednesday , several of these senators had emerged together from the GOP Cloakroom to flip their votes at the same time, after Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and John Cornyn of Texas joined together to push the tally over the 60-vote threshold.
But this sheet suggests that McConnell had not actually cast a vote before indicating support of the debate-limiting motion.