Republicans’ bill to expand offshore oil production failed, 42-57.
Crack that whip (or not): “Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) is leaving Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget plan to its own fate in the Senate by not whipping his GOP colleagues on the vote,” The Hill writes. “Republican senators say McConnell has made it clear he will vote for the House Budget Committee chairman’s plan, but has said rank-and-file members should vote as they want on the 2012 budget proposal.”
Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) weighed in yesterday about the defection of Tom Coburn from the so-called Gang of Six, NBC’s Libby Leist reports. McCaskill, who is up for re-election in 2012, said she has some sympathy for Coburn who was under enormous pressure from anti-tax conservatives. "I feel for him. I take shots from the far left and the far right almost everyday. So, it’s hard to get those compromises," she said.
McCaskill added she feels some of the same resistance from her own party on the issue of entitlement reform. "There's way too much pressure on our side of the aisle about not mentioning the word Social Security or talking about means testing in Medicare. I believe very much we can't afford to buy Warren Buffet's prescription drugs anymore ...but there's pressure being exerted on both sides."