Note that nine Senate Republicans, for a total of 66 senators, voted to provide more health insurance for children. Bush vetoed this legislation twice. This illustrates that the magic 60 to avoid a filibuster need not necessarily come strictly from Democratic ranks. Repubs have to stand for election, too. For healthy kids or against them? Easy choice except for the bitter-enders who’d prefer a capital gains tax cut.
Yes, pressure will be applied to those who vote against the public’s interest.
But, still on the filibuster issue and 60 senators, there’s talk that Obama might pick Republican Judd Gregg for the Cabinet. A Democratic governor would fill the open seat. That would make 60 counting Al Franken and, sort of, Joe Lieberman.