The legislative proposal to return Nebraska to a winner-take-all presidential electoral vote system was trapped Tuesday by a successful filibuster and essentially blocked from further consideration this session. A motion to break the filibuster fell two senators short of acquiring the 33 votes required to break the filibuster, failing on a 31-18 vote. Four senators who are Republicans joined all 13 senators who are Democrats and Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha, the sole registered independent, in voting against the cloture vote to end debate.
Sen. John McCollister of Omaha and Sen. Laura Ebke of Crete were the newest Republicans to oppose cloture, joining Sen. Kathy Campbell of Lincoln and Sen. Paul Schumacher of Columbus, both of whom had earlier voted to sustain a filibuster.
Ebke previously had signaled her intention; McCollister had been weighing his decision privately.
“It was a tough decision,” McCollister said later. “I’ve been getting a lot of comments from Republicans,” he said, but “you have to vote your conscience.”