The Senate on Wednesday voted 67-31 to break a filibuster and advance a “clean” debt limit hike, which the House passed a day earlier.
Shockingly, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) voted for cloture. Both are up for re-election and were widely expected to vote against the procedural motion.
The outcome was up in the air and the vote was held open for about an hour. McConnell and Cornyn’s decision to vote ‘yes’ swayed some GOP senators to switch their votes and made sure the motion crossed the 60-vote threshold.
The success of the cloture vote effectively guaranteed passage of the bill. The final vote, at a threshold of 51, began immediately after.
McConnell and Cornyn both voted against the actual bill, which passed 55-43 with Democratic votes.