MCDAC examined Senator George Voinovich's votes on motions to invoke cloture in 2008. A motion to invoke cloture is when the Senate votes to cut-off debate so that legislation can proceed to a vote. It has become the GOP's preferred method of obstructing Democratic sponsored legislation. By preventing bills from coming to a vote, they have avoided putting Bush in the position of vetoing popular legislation. Such votes also mean that so-called "moderates" like Voinovich don't have to go on record on votes. Votes in which they would face the Hobson's Choice of either voting against popular legislation and ticking off the public, or voting for such legislation and ticking off the right-wing base of the GOP.
Our examination consisted of going to the Senate's official website at www.senate.gov and examining the votes that were identified as being votes on motions to invoke cloture. We found that in 2008, there were 49 such votes. On those votes, Voinovich voted with the winning side in all but four votes.
On only two of those four votes, did he vote different than the way a majority of the Republican caucus voted. On one of those votes he joined 17 Republican Senators. On that vote, which took place on September 29, 2008, 27 Republicans voted to cut-off debate. On another vote, which took place on June 26, 2008, 39 Republicans voted against cutting-off debate while Voinovich voted to cut-off debate. On the other votes, Voinovich voted with the Republican caucus.
We think that this shows that while Voinovich likes to talk a bi-partisan game, he really doesn't vote on a bi-partisan basis IF the Republican caucus is voting against the Democratic position.
Barack Obama will be putting forth legislation in the 111TH Congress. Legislation designed to turn around America's economy. A lot of this legislation will go against the pro-business, anti-regulation attitude of the Republican party, but will be what a majority of Ohioans want. It will be interesting to see, with two years to go until his re-election campaign, if Voinovich keeps supporting the right-wing position of the GOP Senate caucus.