Despite my elegant and pellucid demonstration that the Webb proviso, if attached to the Defense Appropriation, needs only 51 votes in the Senate, this NYT story, reflecting what seem to be both Democratic and Republican tactical views, assumes that Webb needs 60 votes.
Admittedly, I don’t know the Senate rules as well as I know the House rules, and I don’t know the House rules as well as I did thirty years ago, when I worked on the Hill. But this seems fairly elementary, and yet either I have it grossly wrong or everyone else does. Can some expert straighten me out?
Footnote Actually, my claim is stronger. If the leadership on both sides stands firm, and appoints complaisant conferees, the Webb proviso would need only a majority in one House or the other. If it passes either House, it can become part of the Conference report, which isn’t amendable. So opponents of the Webb provision would have to vote against the entire Defense Appropriation, or send the bill to the President. Either way, the onus of holding up money for the troops is squarely on the imperialists.