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Dear Harry – Senate GOP sends Harry Reid a message

And it’s a pretty pointed one showing a very solid Republican lame duck caucus – at least on this particular issue:

Senate Republicans promised Wednesday to block legislative action on every issue being considered by the lame-duck Congress until the dispute over extending the Bush-era tax cuts is resolved and an extension of current government funding is approved.

All 42 Senate Republicans signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, vowing to prevent a vote on "any legislative item until the Senate has acted to fund the government and we have prevented the tax increase that is currently awaiting all American taxpayers."

If you’re wondering about the 42 Republicans, don’t forget Mark Kirk was sworn in yesterday as the new junior Senator from Illinois.

So there’s some solidarity that Democrats have to address if they want to pass anything else this session because with 42 automatically saying no, there’s nothing going to cloture and a vote. 

Democrats are trying to pass several pieces of legislation before a more Republican Congress is sworn in in January, including the START nuclear arms treaty with Russia, a repeal of the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military, and the so-called DREAM Act, which would create a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants.

Naturally, Mr. Reid isn’t happy:

Reid blasted the GOP letter on the Senate floor Wednesday morning, calling it part of a "cynical" and transparent" Republican strategy to "obstruct" and "delay" legislative progress while blaming the Democrats for failing to effectively govern.

I thought “transparent” was good?  Heh … is this anymore cynical than trying to push through all the garbage on the Dem agenda while they have their last shot when the American people have said “jobs and the economy?”  Yeah, I didn’t think so either. 

And for once, Reid is at least partially right – this is a tactic to obstruct the majority party’s intention to do as it wishes without having to contend with the minority’s desires.  That, as I’ve observed over the last few decades, is how minority parties have acted on both sides of the aisle in Senatorial politics.  I get a little tired of both sides complaining about it.  That’s the reality of the rules the yahoos making the complaints agreed upon (and used – Harry Reid was the minority leader once as well, and was very complimentary of the Senate’s tradition of protecting the rights of the minority party to have a say).

Anyway, the gauntlet is thrown.  Other than whine, it’s going to be interesting to see how Reid, et al, react to this.  Time is running out rather swiftly.

(HT: Neo)

~McQ

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11 Responses to Dear Harry – Senate GOP sends Harry Reid a message

  • They have until the 17th…

    What are the odds they don’t pass the extension?

  • Harry should have retired to his backup profession .. funeral director

  • McQ[I]t’s going to be interesting to see how Reid, et al, react to this.

    I can tell you: demagogue.  There’s nothing on the dem agenda that they really, really, really want to get passed.  Oh, I’m sure that they’d sort of like to pass amnesty, and ending DADT would be a nice bone to throw to the gays in their base.  The Dear Golfer probably would rather like to pass START in order to get another pat on the head from the same people who gave him the Nobel Boobie Prize for doing nothing.

    But I think a solid majority of Americans are against amnesty, DADT is something of a minor issue just now, and a nuclear arms treaty with the Russians is about as big a deal these days as signing a capital ship tonnage treaty with the Japanese.  Americans want the economy fixed PRONTO.  So, why are the dems interested in these things?

    Because they are playing politics.  The plan is to throw out some items near and dear to the chattering classes, then beat up the GOP in the press for their “obstructionism”.

    • … pass START in order to get another pat on the head from the same people who gave him the Nobel Boobie Prize …

      There are parts of this treaty that are just down-right “bad.”
      I especially hate the redefinition of the number of weapons systems. A B-52 full of “nuclear devices” in it’s belly and cruise missiles with “nuclear devices” mounted on it’s wings, is, by this treaty, one weapon. The same for MIRV-ed missiles.
      By this START treaty, the nuclear arms race doesn’t diminish, it starts up again.

      • Hmmm… Sounds like something I can support, then.  The idea that limiting the number of weapons various countries can possess will prevent war is foolish.  There were all sorts of treaties during the ’20s and ’30s, with the result that we and the British went to war underarmed because the bad guys always cheat.

        At any rate, a nuclear deal with the Russians seems to me almost pointless as the collapse of the USSR has significantly reduced the tensions between us.  The problem now is not preventing “World War III” so much as it is deterring bad actors like the norkies, the Iranians, and countries that might be inclined to help a terrorist group smuggle a nuke into the US or an allied country.  We might also throw Red China into the mix.  What treaties are they bound under?  Or do they get a free pass on nukes in the same way they get a free pass on global warming climate change climate disruption?

  • Reid blasted the GOP letter on the Senate floor Wednesday morning, calling it part of a “cynical” and transparent” Republican strategy to “obstruct” and “delay” legislative progress while blaming the Democrats for failing to effectively govern.
    Maybe he could solve that by “effectively governing” by actually coming to an accommodation with those Senators to remove their objection?
    I don’t recall part of a Senator’s oath (or any particular one of these Senators’ campaign promises) requiring them to simply go along with every bill put before them no matter what.
    Maybe I just have a better grasp of civics than Harry Reid. Wouldn’t surprise me; I suspect I have a better grasp than most of the political class – being a member of it seems to select against a decent understanding of the subject.

  • God bless the GOP Senate caucus.  And if they flag, God help them…

  • Reid blasted the GOP letter on the Senate floor Wednesday morning, calling it part of a “cynical” and transparent” Republican strategy to “obstruct” and “delay” legislative progress while blaming the Democrats for failing to effectively govern.

    >>>>  Ah….filibuster is “bad” again.

    Got it.

    Choke on it Harry baby.

  • Senate Republicans promised Wednesday to block legislative action on every issue being considered by the lame-duck Congress until the dispute over extending the Bush-era tax cuts is resolved and an extension of current government funding is approved.

    I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • I’d rather see the Senate Republicans block everything in the current Congress regardless of whether government is funded or the Bush tax cuts are extended.

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