The vote started late, as Senate Republicans huddled behind closed doors. After meeting for roughly an hour in private, the conference still did not know whether it could conjure up the needed votes.
On the floor, the procedural vote ran on for another hour, with Republicans slow to offer support.
Cornyn and McConnell, who is the most vulnerable Senate Republican up for reelection in 2014, then voted to end the debate, making it clear the procedural motion would be approved.
After their dramatic votes, another group of Republicans met in a room off the Senate floor. They returned, and several switched their votes from no to yes.
Some members said they switched their votes to give cover to McConnell and Cornyn.
Remind me how we would be any better off with Mitch McConnell running a narrow Republican senate majority.