Harry Reid had to make sure that the vote on an amendment to the farm bill "turned out OK" or else face the bill's failure on Thursday.
That's how Democrats put it, and to that end, six Democratic senators changed their votes on an Sen Pat Toomey's amendment, which failed, 58-41.
Reports National Journal's Dan Friedman:
"The amendment was one of the last of 73 to the farm bill to receive a floor vote. It appeared set to pass when, with the 15-minute vote set to expire, 64 senators had cast 'yes' votes. It required 60 votes to pass. But Reid held the vote open for more than 26 more minutes while six Democrats agreed to switch their votes to 'no.'"
The six senators who changed their votes on Toomey's, R-Pa., amendment were: Sens. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., Mary Landrieu, D-La., Tom Udall, D-N.M., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Al Franken, D-Minn., and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.
"I switched my vote because Barbara Boxer asked me to, because it was going to put the whole bill in serious jeopardy," Landrieu said.
The amendment, one of 73 and among the last to get a floor vote, would have removed a requirement that water companies mail annual reports on trace chemicals in water to customers. Companies could instead send their customers online.
Subscribers can read more of the details on the Democratic arm-twisting here.
(Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 21, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)