Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Senate votes for a 700 mile fence between US-Mexico

In the midst of all these scandals and different stupid Republican mistakes, I want to call attention to something that will have a direct and vast impact on people: on Friday the Senate voted 80-19 to build a 700 mile fence between the US and Mexico, in a bone to conservative Republicans. The bill had previous passed the House 283 - 138.

What's surprising is which Democrats voted yes:

Obama (D-IL) who is supposed to be a progressive superstar, and beloved by Illinois residents. Since he doesn't have a competitive Senate race, perhaps this is positioning for a presidential run? His senior senator, Dick Durbin didn't vote for a fence, which would provide him political cover for a similar vote.

Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) who is never going to have a hard race in Maryland, so she could afford to vote her conscience, like her senior senator Paul Sarbanes, who is leaving office.

Schumer and Clinton (D-NY) - again, not terribly surprising given their votes on previous bills, but more given NYC as the cradle of immigrants. Schumer can't think he will win the presidency, and Clinton needs to find a backbone.

Feinstein and Boxer (D-CA) - ugh, another disappointment. They, like Schumer and Clinton, represent immigrant-rich states, and also will easily win reelection. Grow a spine!

Mark Dayton (D-MN) is leaving the Senate in just a month, and given how many Hmong and Somali immigrants and refugees there are in Minnesota, you'd think he could stand up for the little guy.

Also of note:
Ted Kennedy (D-MA) didn't vote, although he is supposed to be a champion of the immigrant rights movement. Kerry, his junior senator, did vote against the fence. (Thanks!)

Joe Lieberman (?-CT), with his feet to the fire, voted no.

Only Republican to vote no? Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), also with his feet to the fire, a man who many consider to be the most liberal Repub in the Senate. He, like, Lieberman, has a tight race f or reelection.

Democrats who voted no who didn't have to include: Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader, and Bingaman (D-NM), which is a border state and therefore prone to less political cover and more pressure from groups like the Minutemen, and Menendez (D-NJ) who is in a tight political race against political scion Kean in Jersey. Let's also recognize our 2 Asian American senators for voting their consciences - Senators Akaka and Inouye from Hawaii! (Congressman Ed Case, who wanted Akaka's Senate seat, took the coward's way out and didn't vote. Good thing Akaka won the primary.)

Senate Roll Call below, and no more posts for tonight.

YEAs ---80
Alexander (R-TN)
Allard (R-CO)
Allen (R-VA)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Bennett (R-UT)
Biden (D-DE)
Bond (R-MO)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burns (R-MT)
Burr (R-NC)
Byrd (D-WV)
Carper (D-DE)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Clinton (D-NY)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Coleman (R-MN)
Collins (R-ME)
Conrad (D-ND)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
Dayton (D-MN)
DeMint (R-SC)
DeWine (R-OH)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dole (R-NC)
Domenici (R-NM)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Frist (R-TN)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagel (R-NE)
Harkin (D-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kohl (D-WI)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Lott (R-MS)
Lugar (R-IN)
Martinez (R-FL)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Obama (D-IL)
Pryor (D-AR)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Santorum (R-PA)
Schumer (D-NY)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Smith (R-OR)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (R-PA)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Stevens (R-AK)
Sununu (R-NH)
Talent (R-MO)
Thomas (R-WY)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Warner (R-VA)
Wyden (D-OR)
NAYs ---19
Akaka (D-HI)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Chafee (R-RI)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Inouye (D-HI)
Jeffords (I-VT)
Kerry (D-MA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (D-CT)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Murray (D-WA)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Salazar (D-CO)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Not Voting - 1
Kennedy (D-MA)

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