The big question on Capitol Hill on Wednesday was how many Senate Republicans would ultimately vote on the unpopular House GOP budget proposal to privatize Medicare?
The answer? Forty of the 47 Republicans stuck by their party to cast yes votes. No Democrats voted for the plan.
Meanwhile, five Republicans joined the Democrats to vote against the proposal associated with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.
Several Republican moderates had said before the vote they wouldn't be voting for Ryan's plan.
Sens. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both of Maine, said beforehand they would vote against the Ryan plan. Rand Paul of Kentucky said he would vote against the House bill also, but for the reason it didn't go far enough.
We still need to track down the names of that fifth Republican senator and those who didn't vote.*
Senate Democrats brought Ryan's plan up for a vote knowing they had the votes to block it but wanting to tie Republicans to the Ryan plan in the hopes that it will prove toxic come Election Day 2012.
Democrats were buoyed in their hopes by the results of Tuesday's special election in New York's 26th Congressional District in which Democrat Kate Hochul beat Republican Jane Corwin in a district that has voted Republican with few exceptions since before the Civil War.
In an attempt at tit for tat, Senate Republicans forced a vote on President Obama's dead-on-arrival proposed budget for fiscal 2012. Every senator, including Democrats, voted against it.
(*Revision and extension of post: Sen. Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican. made no secret before the vote that she wouldn't support the Ryan proposal, so the number of GOP nays didn't rise from the five who stated their opposition beforehand. The three senators who didn't vote were Republicans Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, Pat Roberts of Kansas and Charles Schumer of New York.
Also, it would have been a good idea if I had included the final tally in the original post. It was 57 against and 40 for the Ryan budget proposal.)