By a vote of 17 to 2, Eric Holder’s confirmation vote has been voted out of committee and onto the Senate floor.
The votes against him were John Cornyn of Texas, and Tom Coburn of Olkahoma. Senator Specter, who is the ranking Republican on the committee, voted yes. Cornyn did mention gun rights among his reasons for voting no. No doubt Coburn shared some concern also.
I anxiously await commentators suggesting if the NRA had just made this a “key vote” we could have turned around the eight votes needed, while they simultaneously denounce the NRA for being ineffectual.
UPDATE: One commenter suggests the use of a hold. A hold in this case isn’t going to stop the vote from happening on the floor. A hold is basically a Senator telling the Senate Majority Leader that he does not wish a particular matter brought to the floor. The Majority Leader can either heed the hold, or ignore it. Typically a hold is used as an indication that the Senator would filibuster the vote. It worked to stop the vote on Mike Sullivan because Harry Reid didn’t have much of a reason to ignore a Republican hold on their own President’s nominee. In this case, Obama is going to be expecting Reid to deliver on his nominations, and Reid will almost certainly comply. Given that 6 Republicans on the Judiciary Committee already voted yes to pass Holder’s confirmation onto the floor, the Republicans don’t have a filibuster. Any threat of one will be empty, and Reid will know that, since the votes are already there for cloture.