On April 1, by a vote of 51 to 47, the Senate again failed to invoke cloture on the Welfare Reauthorization Act (H.R. 4). In order to end discussion on the issue and bring it to a vote, 60 votes were needed.
While all Republicans voted for cloture, all Democrats but one resisted on the grounds that their unrelated amendments — including Kennedy’s minimum wage increase (see above) and various labor regulations — were not allowed to come up for a vote.
Sen. Rick Santorum (R.-Pa.) argued that there is no correlation between minimum wage and child poverty, as Kennedy maintains. “During the highest level of poverty among African-Americans, we had a high minimum wage,” Santorum said.
The reauthorization bill would increase the work requirement by 20%. Interestingly enough, the amount of daycare would increase by 100%. “So this — the Democrats’ objection — is, again, Washington logic,” said Santorum. He also alluded to the President’s marriage initiative, encouraging marriage among couples seeking welfare. Studies demonstrate that poverty rates are lower among married couples than they are among single heads of household.
A “yes” vote was a vote in favor of invoking cloture, ending discussion and bringing to a vote the Senate committee’s substitute that would reauthorize, with a few changes, the current successful welfare reform measure through fiscal 2008 and was, in effect, a vote for welfare reform extension. A “no” vote was a vote against cloture and was, in effect, a vote against welfare reform extension.
|For the Motion: 51||Against the Motion: 47|
|REPUBLICANS FOR (50):
DEMOCRATS FOR (1):
|REPUBLICANS AGAINST (0):
DEMOCRATS AGAINST (46):
INDEPENDENTS AGAINST (1):
NOT VOTING: 2
|REPUBLICANS (1):||DEMOCRATS (1):|