With the vote-a-rama in the rearview mirror, it’s worth taking stock of what the 15-plus hours of nonbinding votes on dozens of amendments said about the 2016 presidential election, how vulnerable senators voted and what issues might now come to the fore. 1. Paid sick leave has turned into a potentially potent wedge issue for Democrats. Millions of workers lack any paid sick leave, and the amendment by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., that targeted the issue had vulnerable Republicans scrambling on the Senate floor to vote yes. Two of the most vulnerable Republicans, Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, actually switched their votes after the fact , providing the 60th and 61st votes, respectively.
Expect Democrats to keep hammering on the issue now that they have crossed the filibuster-proof threshold and offer the amendment again later this Congress, instead of nonbinding, baloney sandwich "deficit neutral reserve funds." Either Democrats will get a win, or their presidential nominee will have an issue to take to the voters. Presidential candidate Ted Cruz of Texas and the three other potential Republican White House contenders in the Senate — Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida — voted no.