"Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine) is risking a shot at becoming the top Republican on an influential Senate committee by backing Democratic healthcare legislation, according to senators on the panel.
A Senate Democrat on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee said Republicans on the panel are threatening to vote against Snowe, who is in line for the senior GOP post that is about to come open. “Wake up,” the Democrat told a reporter last week when questioned if the Republicans would retaliate against Snowe for crossing party lines. Snowe, a potential swing vote on the Senate Finance Committee, could give Democrats a major boost Tuesday when that panel holds a final vote on Chairman Max Baucus’s (D-Mont.) bill.
She could also support the bill in the coming weeks on the Senate floor. “A vote for healthcare would be something that would weigh on our minds when it came time to vote,” said a Republican on Commerce, who said Snowe would otherwise be assured of the ranking member post if not for the healthcare debate.
Every other GOP member of Finance is expected to vote against the healthcare bill. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas), the senior Republican on Commerce, is preparing to leave the chamber to run for governor in the coming weeks. The Republicans on Commerce will pick Hutchison’s replacement, with the entire conference ratifying that decision. Seniority is usually the most important consideration, but party loyalty could trump that."Snowe is done. Forget a committee seat, we're going after her Senate Seat. Snowe's not up until 2012, but we're calling for a boycott of funding to the NRSC so long as they support her reelection.