After the late-afternoon vote, McConnell headed to a meeting with senior adviser Josh Holmes. Then the two went to a National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) fundraiser at its offices on Capitol Hill. They arrived late to a room that — surprising to many, given the terrible weather — was packed with dozens of attendees. Sources say about 50 to 100 people were present and tell NRO that when the minority leader entered, he was greeted with an eruption of cheers, and that many attendees stood to applaud him.
Yeah, I wonder how long it took them to pull that one together:
Cruz, an architect of the shutdown fight who forced the 60-vote threshold vote, was unapologetic about his tactics even after McConnell and several other Republican senators privately pushed back against his strategy. He acquiesced by allowing senators to hold the vote Wednesday and skip town ahead of a major snowstorm.
“It should have been a very easy vote,” Cruz said afterward. “In my view, every Senate Republican should have stood together and said what every one of us tells our constituents back home, which is that we will not go along with raising the debt ceiling while doing nothing to fix the underlying out-of-control spending problem.”
What made the vote more difficult, Republicans said, was that they didn’t have enough time to forge a strategy, given that the House changed its tactics repeatedly and senators were rushing to catch their flights home ahead of the storm.
“The problem was we had this all of a sudden come from the House. I’m one that really felt like the House would attach something to it,” said Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.), a former House member. “It really did make it difficult.”
Indeed, leaving a party lunch, several GOP senators planned to vote to sustain a filibuster, including McCain and Hatch, but later were persuaded to change course.
The “no” votes were piling up — even from some prospective swing votes.
“I’m not voting for cloture,” McCain said when asked how he’d vote as he entered the chamber.
McCain later said he voted yes because it was the “right thing to do.”
“There are many of us who certainly would like to see a different outcome,” McCain said. “But it’s obvious the House of Representatives wasn’t going to vote any different.”
Yeah, they all just loves themselves some Mitch the Knife.