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And that's sort of the magic number--not only is 67 enough votes to pass a climate bill in the Senate without having to worry about a filibuster, but it's just enough to ratify an international climate treaty. Which could be vital if efforts in Copenhagen are successful. Now, the problem is, many of these 67 Senators are only 'in play', or on the fence--there's still plenty of uncertainty throughout the Senate. Here's the breakdown of who's likely to vote for and against the climate bill, and who could yet be persuaded . . .According to the New York Times, these are the all but certain 'yea' votes:
the bill's lead sponsors, Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), can safely rely on 31 "yes" votes as they work on building their coalition. That list includes Ben Cardin of Maryland, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Tom Udall of New Mexico. All appeared at a Capitol Hill campaign-style rally last month during the public unveiling of the legislation.Next up, we have the 'pretty sure' group: "Another 12 senators fall into the "probably yes" camp, from Michael Bennet of Colorado to Al Franken of Minnesota and Mark Warner of Virginia." Franken, once thought to be a shoo-in, is demoted from the certain yes voters thanks to a letter he signed with nine other senators asking for tariffs on goods imported from carbon-intensive countries.
As for the legion of fence-sitters, the number has been swelling as of late, in part due to Lindsay Graham's working with John Kerry on making bipartisan progress on a climate bill. The NY Times notes that there are 8 Republicans listed "as "fence sitters" on the climate bill, with the two from Maine -- Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe -- holding firm as "probably yes" votes." And that's just Republicans. In fact, there are now only two Democratic 'probably no' votes--one from Ben Nelson in Nebraska, and one from Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.
Joe Lieberman, the Senate's Independent, but a member of the Democratic Caucus, is a big maybe as well.
So--to add it up: So, with 43 Dems probably voting yes, another 16 that are on the fence--joined by 8 Republicans and 1 Independent--things look to be getting interestingly hopeful for the climate bill.
More on the Senate Climate Bill
Senate Climate Bill Revealed: A Quick Guide
Know the 7 Key Senators in the Climate Bill Battle