It appears the majority of senators think it is more important to shelter dogs and cats in Rhode Island than people in Louisiana and Mississippi made homeless by Hurricane Katrina.

Indeed. So what’s a Republican Senate for, exactly?

UPDATE: Via email from Coburn’s office, a correction: Those were different amendments, to the same effect. The “Bridge to Nowhere” amendment is coming up shortly. I imagine it will fail too — though I’d love to be wrong — but I hope that this Senate action will get a lot of attention.

Meanwhile, Patty Murray is threatening people over the Coburn cuts.

I predict a revival of interest in term limits and a balanced budget amendment. But at least we’ve got their attention.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Tapscott has updated with a list of how Senators voted, and observes about Patty Murray’s threats: “Getting that defensive this quick is probably an indication of just how scared the Big Spenders in both political parties are that the Coburnites will succeed.”

MORE: Reader Monte Meyer emails:

Just after I read your blog on the Coburn Amendments’ failure, I received a phone call – AT MY OFFICE (a church) – from the Republican National Committee thanking me for my past support and asking for more money for some critical election in Florida.

I interrupted them and said “You won’t get one thin dime from me, until you do something about the pork. I called my Republican Senator’s (Coleman) office a couple weeks ago to talk about Pork – but barely received a response. Now they rejected the Coburn amendment. Where is the fiscally responsible Republican party I helped to elect? You won’t get any more money from me until it changes.”

They said they took down my comments, and thanked me. Probably nothing will happen – but at least it made me feel better – for 8 or 9 seconds.

If enough people do the same, I guarantee you that something will happen.

MORE STILL: Andrew Stuttaford writes:

It’s interesting to see the identities of the thrifty thirteen who voted for the Coburn amendments. Only one Democrat broke ranks to do so, Russ Feingold. Good for him. Of the possible Republican presidential candidates McCain and Allen voted for Coburn. Frist voted against, showing, perhaps, that he’s set on running as an ‘establishment’ candidate. In the current mood of the country (and the rank-and-file GOP) that does not look like a wise move.

I agree. Sadly, Kos’s prediction that Democrats would vote with Coburn turned out to be incorrect. But Kos is hammering the Democrats

It’s embarrassing that Feingold was the only Democrat voting for it. What a great way to show the country that Democrats are the party of fiscal responsibility. Sheez… This is becoming a gross failure by both parties and the institution of government.

Yes, it is. I also agree with Kos when he says: “Those who voted against these amendments have zero credibility on issues of fiscal responsibility. Zero. And by the way, Feingold is starting to look really good for ’08.”