With new background music, Mitch McConnell’s campaign ad becomes much more interesting. (04:21)”
The internet has virtually exploded with parodies of this inane ad from Mitch McConnell … to be fair we should point out that although #McConnelling has been popularized by Jon Stewart and the Daily Show and Youtube is full of examples inspired by him , the parodies really started before Stewart got his hands into it .
“Drunks,” “Bullies,” “Traitors,” “Fringe,” and Other Things Mitch McConnell Has Called Conservatives
” Mitch McConnell is doing his best to walk back his comments about conservatives. He told the New York Times he intended to “crush them everywhere.” Now he says he was only talking about the Jim DeMint founded Senate Conservatives Fund and its candidates — candidates like Ben Sasse supported by Paul Ryan, Mike Lee, Club for Growth, RedState, National Review, and others.
Actually, Mitch McConnell has been pretty open in the past about his contempt for conservatives. He has referred to conservatives and the outside groups they fund, as traitors, bullies, drunks, and fringe. He claims conservatives “tear up every bar they walk into,” and he wants to “punch” the tea party “in the nose.”
Those are his words. And he has been pretty consistent over time. Back in 2009, McConnell’s associates famously put James Dobson in a terribly embarrassing spot when they lied about Rand Paul’s record.McConnell sent staff into Kentucky to defeat Rand Paul.
McConnell now says he only meant he wanted to crush the Senate Conservatives Fund, but back in 2009 and 2010, the Senate Conservatives Fund was the group standing with conservatives and Pat Toomey, Marco Rubio, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul against Mitch McConnell’s supported Arlen Specter, Charlie Crist, Bob Bennett, and Trey Grayson.”
” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) predicted that GOP incumbents would “crush” insurgent Tea Party-backed candidates in primaries this year.
“ I think we are going to crush them everywhere,” McConnell told The New York Times during an interview on Saturday. “I don’t think they are going to have a single nominee anywhere in the country.”
McConnell added: “I know this: Politics doesn’t like losers. If you don’t have anything to point to, it is kind of hard to keep it going.” “
You’re right about one thing McConnell , politics doesn’t like losers … You and Boehner being perfect examples . Read more about where McConnell’s true allegiance lies here and be forewarned it is not with the people or fiscal responsibility …
” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican up for re-election in 2014, told theWashington Examiner in an interview published Friday that he believes it is time for the GOP establishment to stop conservatives and Tea Partiers.”
It comes down to arrogance and entitlement doesn’t it Mitch ? You think that you should be able to run unopposed by your own party by virtue of the fact that you’ve been in office so long . Think again . The Republican brand is supposed to thrive on competition and what’s good for us is good for your party .
” McConnell argued it is “utter nonsense” for groups like the Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF), which has endorsed his primary challenger businessman Matt Bevin, to argue that Republicans like him in Congress are not fighting hard enough to defeat Democrats. In the interview, McConnell focused on deriding Tea Partiers for leading the effort to defund Obamacare—something that, coupled with the Democrats’ refusal to compromise on the soon-to-fail Obamacare, resulted in a government shutdown.
“The Senate Conservatives Fund is giving conservatism a bad name,” McConnell told the Examiner for the piece titled “The Establishment Fights Back: Mitch McConnell leads GOP battle against Tea Party insurgents.”
Here’s a clue Mitch , the RINO’s are the ones that are giving conservatism a bad name . Through the auspices of your leadership along with John ( go along to get along) Boehner in the House the conservative brand has come to stand for … er ? Nothing . Well , that’s not entirely true , you guys stand for capitulation .
“They’re [SCF] participating in ruining the [Republican] brand,” McConnell said. “What they do is mislead their donors into believing the reason that we can’t get as good an outcome as we’d like to get is not because of a Democratic Senate and a Democratic president, but because Republicans are insufficiently committed to the cause—which is utter nonsense.”
What has ruined the Republican brand is the fact that your party has shown itself to be little besides “Democrat Lite” and an ineffectual “Lite” at that . Say what you will about the Democrats but at least the have the courage of their convictions . Remember those ? Convictions ? The GOP establishment as embodied by the likes of you and John McCain , Lindsey Graham , John Boehner show us little in the way of conviction or core beliefs other than fighting off the fiscally responsible Tea Party caucus in your own party .
” McConnell had not only personally opposed, during the shutdown, the effort from Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) to defund Obamacare, he actually whipped votes against them, according to a Congressional source. Cruz and Lee had staked their battle on a key cloture vote that would have, if McConnell had united the Republican Party to deliver 41 votes against the use of taxpayer money to fund Obamacare, stopped Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid from using a procedural ploy to fund Obamacare with just 51 votes.”
If only you and your appeasement minded cabal of establishment toadies put as much effort into defeating the Dems as you do the Tea Party maybe you would have some accomplishments to trumpet but as long as you insist on committing fratricide you doom your party to permanent minority status .
” As a number of Senate Republicans take a stand against Barack Obama’s nomination of far left judges, the chamber’s top Democrat wants to find a way to stop them. In an announcement Thursday, Majority Leader Harry Reid voiced his support of a rule change that would curtail the practice of filibustering.
For the minority party, filibusters are one of a handful of tactics available to make its position heard. Reid, on the other hand, said that such allowances have resulted in a “broken” Senate.
“It’s time to change the Senate before the institution becomes obsolete,” Reid said, noting that the chamber has “wasted hours and wasted days between filibusters.”
To think it was only one administration ago that the alleged “pederast” of the Senate was singing a different tune . Give a listen to Dingy’s explanation of why the filibuster rule
is was an essential part of our republican , not democratic , form of government .
” Unfortunately, the Nevada senator seems to miss the point that debate on a particular issue is actually a congressional responsibility, not something that needs to be eradicated. Of course, leftist legislators rely on ramrodding laws and nominations that could not stand Republican scrutiny.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who many conservatives feel has been too moderate in his response to Reid regarding other issues, was emphatically opposed to his current proposal.”
Perhaps “Dingy Harry” could use a history lesson on the importance of the filibuster …
” While several leftist groups have joined in the push for this so-called “nuclear option,” McConnell explained that such support could backfire “a lot sooner than you think.”
Mr Reid needs to be reminded that the purpose of the filibuster is to prevent the tyranny of the majority that our forefathers were rightfully so concerned about , to allow the minority to be heard and that it is one of the very features of government that make ours a republic and not a simple democracy(mob rule) . He would also do well to recognize that he won’t be Senate Majority Leader forever , perhaps not past 2014 as a matter of fact and thus he should very carefully consider the precedent he is threatening to set . We all know what they say : ” payback is a b**ch” .
” Though Republicans are currently the minority party in the Senate, Democrat support of the unpopular ObamaCare law has caused the approval rates of many legislators to plummet. Should the GOP regain power of the chamber after next year’s midterm elections, that party would benefit from Reid’s rule change.
Predictions of a Republican-led Senate are certainly encouraging to millions of Americans fed up with the current direction of the nation; however, the fight to end Reid’s proposal has far more immediate implications.”
Why don’t we let Senator Reid himself explain to us the filibuster , it’s long history , it’s essential nature to the American form of governance and also regale us with a conversation that took place over two hundred years ago between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson on just why the filibuster is an absolute necessity for the protection of the republic .
The following is a speech delivered by Harry on the floor of the Senate and recorded into the record on May 18th , 2005 : We’ll let Mr Reid do the rest of the talking :
” Mr. President, yesterday morning I spoke here about a statement the Majority Leader issued calling the filibuster a “procedural gimmick.”
The Websters dictionary defines “gimmick” as – – “an ingenious new scheme or angle.” No Mr. President, the filibuster is not a scheme. And it is not new.
The filibuster is far from a “procedural gimmick.” It is part of the fabric of this institution. It was well known in colonial legislatures, and it is an integral part of our country’s 217 years of history.
The first filibuster in the U.S. Congress happened in 1790. It was used by lawmakers from Virginia and South Carolina who were trying to prevent Philadelphia from hosting the first Congress.
Since 1790, the filibuster has been employed hundreds and hundreds of times.
Senators have used it to stand up to popular presidents. To block legislation. And yes – even to stall executive nominees.
The roots of the filibuster can be found in the Constitution and in the Senate rules.
In establishing each House of Congress, Article I Section 5 of the Constitution states that “Each House may determine the rules.”
In crafting the rules of the Senate, Senators established the right to extended debate – and they formalized it with Rule XXII almost 100 years ago. This rule codified the practice that Senators could debate extensively.
Under Rule XXII, debate may be cut off under limited circumstances.
– 67 votes to end a filibuster of a motion to amend a Senate rule.
– 60 votes to end a filibuster against any other legislative business.
A conversation between Thomas Jefferson and George Washington describes the United States Senate and our Founders Fathers vision of it.
Jefferson asked Washington what is the purpose of the Senate?
Washington responded with a question of his own, “Why did you pour that coffee into your saucer?”
“To cool it,” Jefferson replied.
To which Washington said; “Even so, we pour legislation into the senatorial saucer to cool it.”
And this is exactly what the filibuster does. It encourages moderation and consensus. It gives voice to the minority, so that cooler heads may prevail.
It also separates us from the House of Representatives – where the majority rules.
And it is very much in keeping with the spirit of the government established by the Framers of our Constitution: Limited Government…Separation of Powers…Checks and Balances.
Mr. President, the filibuster is a critical tool in keeping the majority in check. This central fact has been acknowledged and even praised by Senators from both parties.
In fact, my colleague from Georgia – Senator Isakson – recently shared a conversation he had with an official from the Iraqi government.
The Senator had asked this official if he was worried that the majority in Iraq would overrun the minority. But the official replied… “no….we have the secret weapon called the ‘filibuster.’”
In recalling that conversation, Senator Isakson remarked: “If there were ever a reason for optimism… it is one of [the Iraqi] minority leaders, proudly stating one of the pillars and principles of our government, as the way they would ensure that the majority never overran the minority.”
And he was right.
I spoke yesterday about Senator Holt and his 1939 filibuster to protect workers’ wages and hours.
There are also recent examples of the filibuster achieving good.
In 1985, Senators from rural states used the filibuster to force Congress to address a major crisis in which thousands of farmers were on the brink of bankruptcy.
In 1995, the filibuster was used by Senators to protect the rights of workers to a fair wage and a safe workplace.
Now Mr. President, I will not stand here and say the filibuster has always been used for positive purposes.
Just as it has been used to bring about social change, it was also used to stall progress that this country needed to make. It is often shown that the filibuster was used against Civil Right legislation. But Civil Rights legislation passed – – Civil Rights advocates met the burden.
And it is noteworthy that today the Congressional Black Caucus is opposed to the Nuclear Option.
For further analysis, let’s look at Robert Caro, a noted historian and Pulitzer Prize winner.
At a meeting I attended with other Senators, he spoke about the history of the filibuster. He made a point about its legacy that was important.
He noted that when legislation is supported by the majority of Americans, it eventually overcomes a filibuster’s delay – as public protest far outweighs any Senator’s appetite to filibuster.
But when legislation only has the support of the minority, the filibuster slows the legislation …prevents a Senator from ramming it through…and gives the American people enough time join the opposition.
Mr. President, the right to extended debate is never more important than when one party controls Congress and the White House.
In these cases, the filibuster serves as a check on power and preserves our limited government.
Right now, the only check on President Bush is the Democrats ability to voice their concern in the Senate.
If Republicans rollback our rights in this Chamber, there will be no check on their power. The radical, right wing will be free to pursue any agenda they want. And not just on judges. Their power will be unchecked on Supreme Court nominees…the President’s nominees in general…and legislation like Social Security privatization.
Of course the President would like the power to name anyone he wants to lifetime seats on the Supreme Court and other federal courts.
And that is why the White House has been aggressively lobbying Senate Republicans to change Senate rules in a way that would hand dangerous new powers to the President over two separate branches – the Congress and the Judiciary.
Unfortunately, this is part of a disturbing pattern of behavior by this White House and Republicans in Washington.
From Dick Cheney’s fight to slam the doors of the White House on the American people…
To the President’s refusal to cooperate with the 9-11 Commission…
To Senate Republicans attempt to destroy the last check in Washington on Republican power…
To the House Majority’s quest to silence the minority in the House…
Republicans have sought to destroy the balance of power in our government by grabbing power for the presidency, silencing the minority and weakening our democracy.
America does not work the way the radical right-wing dictates to President Bush and the Republican Senate Leaders. And Mr. President, that is not how the United States Senate works either.
For 200 years, we’ve had the right to extended debate. It’s not some “procedural gimmick.”
It’s within the vision of the Founding Fathers of our country. They established a government so that no one person – and no single party – could have total control.
Some in this Chamber want to throw out 217 years of Senate history in the quest for absolute power.
They want to do away with Mr. Smith coming to Washington.
They want to do away with the filibuster.
They think they are wiser than our Founding Fathers.
I doubt that’s true. ”
We would say those were words to live by Mr Majority Leader , but then again everything from the democrats comes with an expiration date doesn’t it sir ? Even principles .
What a difference an administration makes . To think that eight short years ago the filibuster was , according to the senator from Nevada , “part of the fabric of this institution” and that “the filibuster is a critical tool in keeping the majority in check” and anyone brazen enough to attempt to eliminate the people’s tool were on a “quest for absolute power” to this :
” Without the option of a filibuster, Republican senators have precious few options through which to protect America’s courts.”
They’ve done it . As we were putting this piece together the scalawags from the democratic caucus in the Senate broke the rules to change the rules and thereby have eliminated the one tool that a David representing the minority could use to great effect against the Goliath tyranny of the majority . Democrats … Party of the people ? Defender of the little guy ? Balderdash ! Oh yes , did we mention …. SQUIRREL !
Does anyone have any idea why the appointment of judicial nominees is of such importance now , just as we are gearing up for the holiday recesses ? One word comes to our mind , well two actually , one (squirrel) that is what Mr Reid and Co are shouting today and the second word is Obamacare , the one word Mr Reid would love to knock off of the airwaves and out of people’s minds.
Good luck with that Senator , although we think you have made a grave miscalculation . The people will never be able to forget about the S**t sandwich you and your cronies forced down their throats and now you’ve treated them to the ultimate display of hubris and hypocrisy with your invocation of your so-called “nuclear option” and along the way revealed yourself and your colleagues for the unprincipled mountebanks that you are .
” By promising that under no circumstances will there ever be another government shutdown, what McConnell has done is telegraph to Harry Reid that he will absolutely, under no circumstances, walk away from the table without a deal. You don’t see Reid doing that. He doesn’t care if the government shuts down, and he is certainly not going to give in to McConnell’s demands to see that it won’t.
By the way, notice how Schieffer cleverly affirms McConnell’s surrender instinct by treating him as Mr. Reasonable while wondering aloud how he will ever deal with that insane Ted Cruz or those horrible Tea Party people who are “going nuts” and threatening to primary him. This is classic. It’s how the media helped turn John McCain into mush. They pet him on the head when he’s a good little Republican who goes along with “the way things are done in this town,” and they make it clear that if he ever steps out of line like that icky Ted Cruz, he will lose their favor.
So there you have it. Democrats already know Republicans will not stand up to them again on budgetary matters, because Republicans are too afraid of the shutdown Democrats will gladly permit if that’s what it takes to get their way. There will be no spending sanity. There will be no changes to the tax code (unless it’s to raise rates, of course). There will be nothing done about ObamaCare. There will be nothing done about entitlements. Democrats refuse, and Republicans are afraid to fight.”
Mitch McConnell should be ashamed of himself . If this is all that the Republican party can offer in the way of leadership there is no reason for anyone with any concern with the financial future of this country to think that there is any difference at all between the parties . We live in a one-party country and that’s a fact .
” The least dispiriting moment of another grim week in Washington was the sight of ornery veterans tearing down the Barrycades around the war memorials on the National Mall, dragging them up the street, and dumping them outside the White House. This was, as Kevin Williamson wrote at National Review, “as excellent a gesture of the American spirit as our increasingly docile nation has seen in years.” Indeed. The wounded vet with two artificial legs balancing the Barrycade on his Segway was especially impressive. It would have been even better had these disgruntled citizens neatly lined up the Barrycades across the front of the White House and round the sides, symbolically Barrycading him in as punishment for Barrycading them out. But, in a town where an unarmed woman can be left a bullet-riddled corpse merely for driving too near His Benign Majesty’s palace and nobody seems to care, one appreciates a certain caution.
By Wednesday, however, it was business as usual. Which is to say the usual last-minute deal just ahead of the usual make-or-break deadline to resume spending as usual. There was nothing surprising about this. Everyone knew the Republicans were going to fold. Folding is what Republicans do. John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are so good at folding Obama should hire them as White House valets.”
As usual Steyn is required reading
” Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell released a new campaign ad on Wednesday, hitting the Obama administration over the IRS scandal and using an infamous quote from disgraced former president Richard Nixon to suggest President Barack Obama is Nixonian.
After using news clips about the scandal involving the IRS’s specific targeting of conservative groups, the ad shows the jaw-dropping line from Nixon’s 1977 interview with journalist David Frost.
“When the president does it, that means it is not illegal,” Nixon says.
” Before I had resolved which scandal was distracting from which, we found out the Department of Justice was spying on The Associated Press — not to protect national security, but to prevent the AP from scooping the White House. Then, this week, it broke that the Department of Justice was also spying on Fox News for reasons that remain unexplained.
Meanwhile, Sens. Marco Rubio, Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham and John McCain are working feverishly to turn the country into Mexico.
So now I think all the scandals are intended to distract from Rubio’s amnesty bill.
The 50-1 Latin American-to-European ratio isn’t a natural phenomenon that might result from, say, Europeans losing interest in coming here and poor Latin Americans providing some unique skill desperately needed in our modern, technology-based economy.
To the contrary, it’s result of an insane government policy. Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 Immigration Act was designed to artificially inflate the number of immigrants from the Third World, while making it virtually impossible for anyone from the nations that historically provided our immigrants to come here.Pre-1965 immigrants were what made this country what it was for a reason: They were the pre-welfare state immigrants. From around 1630 to 1966, immigrants sank or swam. About a third of them couldn’t make it in America and went home — and those are the ones who weren’t rejected right off the boat for being sick, crippled or idiots.A majority of Americans still do love this country — including, one hopes, legal immigrants who thought they were leaving Mexico. But a policy that will change America forever is about to slip through under the cloak of endless scandals from the corrupt Obama administration.”—
” On the cold open of Saturday’s broadcast of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” Kenan Thompson impersonated of MSNBC “Politics Nation” host Al Sharpton, in a clip that also parodied Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank.
Thompson’s Sharpton fumbled his way through the show, proclaiming the tea party to be perturbed by the ‘irs,’ meaning the IRS, and previewed a clip of what was supposed to be Sen. Mitch McConnell, but wound up being Matthew McConaughey on Jimmy Fallon’s late-night show talking about eating sushi.
Also appearing was Jason Sudeikis playing Post scribe Milbank, whose first name Thompson’s Sharpton disapproved of.”
” The scandal, McConnell said, extends up the chain. “The Obama effort to shut up opponents isn’t limited to the IRS,” he stated. “It applies to the FCC [Federal Communications Commission], SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission], FEC [Federal Elections Commission], HHS [Department of Health and Human Services] …. And you remember, the Obama campaign last year published a list of eight businessmen who it believed were enemies.”
He also added that the recent IRS revelations were “just the beginning of the story. This is no little thing. This is a big thing. The good news about it is they finally got caught. They finally messed with an agency everybody fully understands. When they try to quiet the critics through other agencies, it doesn’t get attention. This does. Everybody understands the IRS and how powerful they are. This is just one example of an administration-wide effort to silence critics.” “
” With at least 14 United States senators (all Republicans), including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), having vowed to filibuster any proposed unconstitutional gun legislation (and given the Constitution’s clear statement that the right to keep and bear arms is one that shall not be infringed, that would seem to indicate that all proposed gun legislation would be subject to filibuster), the forcible citizen disarmament advocates are growing louder and louder in their outrage.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), for example, speaking on the Senate floor Monday, said, “Shame on them,” in reference to the senators planning a filibuster. From Talk Radio News Service:
“There is simply no reason for the blatant obstruction except the fear of considering anti-violence proposals in full, public view. Yet now many Senate Republicans seem afraid to even engage in this debate. S[h]ame on them,” Reid said on the Senate floor.
Obama’s condemnation of any filibuster is an extension of his State of the Union Address, in which he dramatically and repeatedly thundered that, “They [survivors of shootings and loved ones of the slain] deserve a vote!” It was good political theater, got his supporters fired up, and it’s no wonder that he gets back to the theme at every opportunity.”
” On Tuesday morning, Mother Jones, a liberal magazine, published an audio recording of McConnell staffers discussing opposition research they could use against actress Ashley Judd, who was considering running against veteran senator in the 2014 Senate race. Judd announced last week that she would not make the race.
The magazine reported that in the Feb. 2 recording, McConnell and his aides were heard considering attacking Judd for “past struggles with depression and for her religious views.”
McConnell is not disputing the authenticity of the tape. Yesterday, his campaign offices were swept by a private security detail, which did not find a bug. Still, given that the meeting was attending by only a handful of longtime McConnell insiders, team McConnell is convinced it was not an internal leak. In an earlier statement, the McConnell campaign accused “the Left” of using “Nixonian tactics” and bugging the campaign’s headquarters.
David Corn, the Mother Jones reporter who broke the story, stood by his reporting and noted that he repeatedly reached out to the McConnell camp before publication.
“Our lawyers vetted the story,” he told POLITICO. “The story itself says we were provided the tape by a source who wishes to remain anonymous. You know this job. I really can’t say much beyond that.” “
” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would join a group of Senate Republicans threatening a filibuster to oppose a cloture vote if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid moves a gun bill to the floor this week.
Reid has promised to move a gun bill to the Senate floor this week, but it’s unclear which one. It depends on whether Democrats can strike a deal on background checks on gun sales — otherwise, they may settle for a less strict bill that includes some form of background checks, increase penalties for gun trafficking and increase school security. In order to get around the filibuster, Reid has indicated that he would file a cloture motion, which would require a 60-vote margin to move the bill.
“While nobody knows yet what Senator Reid’s plan is for the gun bill, if he chooses to file cloture on the motion to proceed to the Reid Bill (S. 649), Senator McConnell will oppose cloture on proceeding to that bill,” McConnell spokesman John Ashbrook said in a statement.”
” At The Hill, John Feehery makes a provocative claim: John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are eating Barack Obama’s lunch:
Don’t tell the Tea Party, but the tag team of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are currently mopping the floor with Barack Obama.
On taxes, McConnell (R-Ky.) just flat-out beat Joe Biden. He preserved 98 percent of the Bush tax cuts in perpetuity, which from a policy perspective is huge. He also made sure that the payroll tax holiday came to a conclusion, thereby making sure that every American would feel the tax increase that President Obama has long been fighting for.
I think this is both correct, and vitally important. The sequester drama played out well for Republicans, in that voters now believe that Republicans are serious about cutting spending, and, equally important, effective at making such cuts happen. Most people think Obama overplayed his hand on sequester, and wound up looking silly … ”
” Though manufacturing hemp is currently just as illegal as growing smokable pot, 10 states already have frameworks in place for industrial hemp production. The problem is that the Drug Enforcement Administration classifies all forms of hemp as a controlled substance, despite the fact that industrial hemp generally contains less than 0.3 percent THC, or anywhere between 1/6 to 1/66 the amount you’ll find in marijuana. If you tried smoking hemp, you’d exhaust yourself before you got high.
Federal regulations do not differentiate between marijuana and its non-psychoactive cousin, which is used in the production of many useful items, including clothing, rope, biofuel, construction materials, and pulp for paper products. According to David West of the North American Industrial Hemp Council, more hemp products are exported to the United States from places like China and Canada than any other nation on earth.”
” Will the move keep the minority — currently Republicans — from obstructing major bills? Certainly not. But it could reduce the pervasive use of dilatory tactics that have killed off countless pieces of legislation and delayed presidential nominees, sometimes for months.
The changes, which passed 86-9, will help legislation reach the floor of the chamber more quickly by barring a senator from using a blocking tactic, known as the filibuster, at the beginning of debate on a bill.
“It is a step in the right direction,” Democrat Tom Harkin said of the deal which was brokered by four Senate Democrats and four Republicans after weeks of negotiation.
Harkin was among a small group of progressive senators who pushed for more radical alterations to the chamber’s rules, including a requirement that senators talk out their filibusters live on the Senate floor, as in the Hollywood classic “Mr Smith Goes to Washington.”
But those bids were defeated, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and top Republican Mitch McConnell agreed to a compromise hashed out by the bipartisan group.
Senate rules until now allowed a lawmaker to filibuster a bill at many stages of the process.
But senators including Democrat Carl Levin and Republican John McCain argued that members had abused a favored blocking tactic by the minority, essentially killing legislation by filibustering the motion to move toward debating a bill.”
” The Senate voted early Tuesday morning 89-8 in favor of the scaled-down bipartisan package that would halt historic tax hikes for many Americans and postpone automatic spending cuts for two months. The bill will now go to the House, which is expected to be back in session at noon today.
The outlines of the deal Mr. McConnell and Mr. Biden worked out included raising tax rates for individuals making more than $400,000 and families with incomes more than $450,000, and extended unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless. It also continued a number of programs from Mr. Obama’s 2009 stimulus law, including tax credits for college tuition and for green-energy programs.
The question now is whether the bill can pass the House. Breitbart points out that the deal reached “cuts only $15 billion in spending while increasing tax revenues by $620 billion—a 41:1 ratio of tax increases to spending cuts,” according to the CBO. Commenting on the lopsided ratio, one House Republican said, “I can’t imagine a ratio such as that warming our fiscal hearts.” “
” Washington D.C. lawmakers in both chambers left the capitol on early Sunday night after negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff fell apart in the Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D – NV) said there is “still time left to reach an agreement.” In the meantime, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will continue negotiations on the phone tonight with Vice President Joe Biden. ”
” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday offered an amendment to force a vote on President Obama’s deficit-reduction plan, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was having none of it.
“Last week [Treasury] Secretary [Timothy] Geithner brought up a proposal that was so unserious,” McConnell said on the floor, “I would like to see if my Democratic friends would like to support it.” ”
Illustration By Nate Beeler