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This letter was sent to the following 67 Senators who voted to prohibit the use of reconciliation in the Senate yesterday: Alexander, Barrasso, Baucus, Bayh, Begich, Bennet, Bennett, Bingaman, Bond, Brownback, Bunning, Burr, Byrd, Cantwell, Casey, Chambliss, Coburn, Cochran, Collins, Conrad, Corker, Cornyn, Crapo, DeMint, Dorgan, Ensign, Enzi, Feingold, Graham, Grassley, Gregg, Hagan, Hatch, Hutchinson, Inhofe, Isakson, Johanns, Klobuchar, Kohl, Kyl, Landrieu, Levin, Lincoln, Lugar, Martinez, McCain, McCaskill, McConnell, Murkowski, Murray, Nelson, Pryor, Risch, Roberts, Rockefeller, Sessions, Shelby, Snowe, Specter, Stabenow, Tester, Thune, Vitter, Voinovich, Warner, Webb, Wicker.
On behalf of hundreds of thousands of FreedomWorks members nationwide, including many in your state, I thank you for your “yea” vote on the “Johanns amendment”—S. Amdt. 735 to S. Con. Res. 13, an amendment to prohibit the use of reconciliation in the Senate for climate change legislation involving a cap and trade system. I applaud your decision to strike down the use of reconciliation on such an important issue.
This vote tells us you are going to do your part to uphold the Senate’s reputation as the greatest deliberative body in the world—a place where all opinions will be heard and where the longstanding rules that give voice to the millions of Americans represented by the minority party will be respected.
By voting for the Johanns amendment, you sent a strong signal to grassroots America that major legislation like cap-and-trade and health care reform must clear the traditional 60 vote threshold before becoming law. This is important both for ensuring a meaningful debate and for our democracy.
Many who voted with you also opposed the use of the “nuclear option” when considering judicial nominations in recent years for similar reasons. Sen. Reid (D-Nev.) said, “There is no way that I would be part of using the nuclear option.” Cap-and-trade and health care, like judicial nominations, are too important to be pushed through in such a manner.
Naysayers suggest this vote may not be important because reconciliation language will be snuck back in during the conference process. After the recent outrage over similar tactics that guaranteed AIG bonuses, we doubt savvy Senators would repeat such a blunder. We also believe Senators who prefer the long term benefits of a robust democracy to short term partisan gains would oppose such a move whether or not the recent scandal happened.
Thank you again for voting for the Johanns amendment and against inappropriate use of reconciliation.
President and CEO