Eight Republicans Vote for Harold Koh
In the end, every Democrat* and eight Republicans voted for cloture on Harold Koh’s nomination for legal adviser to the State Department. The Republicans: Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio). Three of them — Gregg, Martinez, and Voinovich — are retiring in 2010. All of them except for Alexander and Hatch represent states won by President Obama last year.
“We were confident that we would get the votes needed to invoke cloture and are pleased that this nomination is moving forward,” said Regan Lachappelle, a spokesperson for Sen. Harry Reid (R-Nev.) “Our hope, of course, would have been to consider the nomination without having to take up all of this time.”
Thirteen of the Republican “no” votes came from senators, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who voted to confirm Koh to his last job as assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor, back in 1998.
*Sen. Ted Kennedy (R-Mass.) and Sen. Robert Byrd (R-W.Va.) were not in the Senate for the vote.