Archive for the ‘Mitch McConnell’ Category
When I wrote this post, I hadn’t read Stephen Hayes’ devastating article about Sen. Chuck Schumer’s dishonesty. In the post, I wrote that Democrats put a higher priority on their PR stunt, aka “the Resistance”, than they put on protecting national security.
I wasn’t as cynical as I should’ve been. According to Hayes’ article, according “to six sources familiar with the negotiations over Pompeo’s confirmation, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told Republican leaders that he would allow Pompeo to be confirmed by voice vote on Inauguration Day, along with two other Trump nominees who have national security responsibilities. But Schumer broke his promise, these sources say, and offered an insulting excuse for having done so.”
Later in the article, Hayes wrote “McConnell consulted Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, Intel committee member Tom Cotton, and the incoming Trump administration. Republicans agreed to delay Pompeo, whose team was happy to have an extra day to prepare. But the Republicans had a condition. If we agree to push back Pompeo’s hearing for a day, they told Schumer, you must agree to include him in the group of national security officials who will be confirmed by a voice vote on Inauguration Day, January 20. According to these sources, Schumer agreed, with alacrity, having secured the delay he’d sought.”
That didn’t happen:
But on January 19, one day before Trump’s inauguration, Ron Wyden said he’d seek to delay Pompeo’s confirmation when the Senate convened late Friday afternoon. That evening Cotton, who is close to Pompeo from their time together in the House of Representatives, began calling his colleagues on the Senate Intelligence Committee, including Wyden, seeking to avoid the delay. Some of the calls were cordial. Others were testy.
The Senate reconvened after the inaugural ceremonies on Friday, with Pompeo’s nomination set to come up at 4:50pm. Cotton angrily confronted Schumer about his broken promise. According to witnesses, Schumer told Cotton to lower his voice and asked him move off of the Senate floor to an adjacent hallway for a private discussion. “We need to take this out into the hallway,” Schumer said. Cotton walked with Schumer but loudly rejected his first request. “Don’t tell me to lower my voice!” he shouted, with an additional salty admonition tacked on for emphasis. Burr and Cornyn were present, as was Senator Mark Warner, ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and several aides.
Schumer told Cotton that the Senate had never previously confirmed a CIA director on Inauguration Day and if Cotton had been around eight years earlier, he’d know that Republicans didn’t extend that courtesy for incoming president Barack Obama. “Eight years ago, I was getting my ass shot at in Afghanistan,” Cotton snapped. “So don’t talk to me about where I was 8 years ago.“
Sen. Schumer shouldn’t be trusted. He’s always been a snake whose word was worthless. Sen. McConnell should try to work with trustworthy Democrats while avoiding dealing with Sen. Schumer as often as possible.
Sen. Schumer is a liar. I don’t trust him whatsoever. If he tries filibustering President Trump’s SCOTUS nominees, I’d blow up the filibuster, then name it the Schumer Option. I’d explain that name by saying Sen. Schumer’s dishonesty forced the rule change.
This article by CNN’s Maeve Reston and Stephen Collinson is a worthwhile read. That doesn’t mean they don’t get some important things wrong, though.
It’s apparent that they think anyone calling themselves a TEA Party conservative agrees with Ted Cruz’s strategies 100% of the time. That’s apparent when they said “Despite the constitutional constraints on action in Washington and the presence of a Democratic President with a veto in the White House, they are furious that the GOP has failed to overturn Obamacare.”
Actually, I’m not upset with the GOP Congress for “fail[ing] to overturn Obamacare.” I’m furious with Mitch McConnell and John Boehner for not pushing the conservatives’ reform agenda. There’s no excuse for why they haven’t pushed Tom Price’s health care reforms. It’s filled with popular features that are infinitely more popular than the mandates in the ACA. There’s no excuse for not pushing Paul Ryan’s tax simplification legislation. Republicans and Democrats alike support tax simplification. Most importantly, it’s supported enthusiastically by small business entrepreneurs.
There’s no excuse for Mssrs. Boehner and McConnell haven’t pushed cutting government based on the GAO’s reports of duplicative programs. I’d love hearing Democrats defend programmatic duplication that runs into the tens of billions of dollars. (That isn’t a typo. It’s billions with a B.)
Finally, and I’m especially passionate about this, there’s no justification for not pushing Ron Johnson’s regulation reform. Sen. Johnson’s reforms aim to neuter something he calls “weaponized government.” When the EPA insists that a couple in Idaho can’t build their dream home on land they purchased because there’s a low spot somewhere on the property, that’s weaponized government. There’s nothing about that that lives up to “of, by and for the people.”
Though I’m upset with CNN, that’s nothing compared with how pissed off I am with Mssrs. Boehner and McConnell.
With Democrats and the Washington Post criticizing him for not bringing Loretta Lynch up for a confirmation vote, Mitch McConnell is still playing hardball:
The hardball tactics, coming in McConnell’s first 100 days as majority leader, pose some risks for a GOP majority determined to show it can govern. Democrats can win back the Senate in 2016 by winning four or five seats, depending on the outcome of the presidential race.
McConnell is facing rising pressure to allow a vote on Lynch, who Democrats this week noted has waited 160 days since her nomination for a confirmation vote.
Supporters launched a hunger strike this week, and The Washington Post editorial board on Thursday slammed the GOP leader for the “shabby treatment” of Lynch, who would be the first black woman to serve as attorney general. The Post wrote there is “no principled reason to link Ms. Lynch’s nomination to the passage of the trafficking bill,” and that she should get “immediate floor consideration.”
However, McConnell’s strategy also has benefits for the GOP leader and his conference, which has unified around him.
Republicans are irked that Democrats blocked the trafficking bill over language that would prevent money for a victims fund set up by the bill to be used for abortions, even after some Democrats voted for the bill in committee. Democrats later said they did not realize the abortion language had been included in the legislation.
The Washington Post Editorial Board said that there is “no principled reason” for denying a vote on Lynch. They’re wrong.
Actions have consequences. Democrats unanimously voted for the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act in committee. Then the Democrats’ pro-abortion special interest groups descended on the Judiciary Committee Democrats like locusts descended on Egypt in the time of Moses. Immediately, Democrats started lying, saying that they didn’t know the 68-page bill contained Hyde Amendment language. That’s BS.
If Democrats want to continue pandering to Planned Parenthood, NOW and other abortion extremists, there’s a price to be paid. Breaking promises has consequences. Democrats broke their promise on the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. Until they stop pandering to these extremists, Mitch McConnell should let them know that lying isn’t acceptable.
There’s a simple solution to this. Democrats will get what they want the minute Republicans get what they want. If Democrats insist on getting everything, they’ll get nothing.
Finally, it’s disgusting that these Democrats are these abortion extremists’ puppets.
Juan Williams’ pro-Harry Reid blinders are on full display in Williams’ latest column:
Republicans campaigned last fall voicing a constant refrain that voters should free them from Reid’s control of the Senate. McConnell promised that Republicans would prove they could govern once Reid’s hold had been broken. As the cynics say, “How did that work out for you?”
Frankly, I’ll take Mitch McConnell’s attempting to get things done over Reid’s one-man legislative branch veto anytime and it isn’t close. Harry Reid was and is a tyrant who should be in prison. He shouldn’t be praised.
Reid is now in the minority. He has announced he will not run again. But the GOP’s inability to get anything done in the Senate for three months and counting is leading to new appreciation for the much-maligned Reid. Compare Reid’s record to the GOP’s ongoing failure to pass legislation to stop sex trafficking, to approve highway trust-fund spending or to confirm an attorney general.
There’s no place in America’s heartland where people have a new-found appreciation of Harry Reid. Since when do celebrate a person who essentially stopped the deliberative process? Why shouldn’t such a tyrant be vilified for essentially preventing red state senators from representing their constituents?
There’s nothing virtuous about that type of tyranny.
As for not passing the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, place that totally at the feet of the Democrats. I wrote this article to highlight the fact that the bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously and was on its way to winning full approval in the Senate when Democrat-aligned special interest groups told the Democrats that having the Hyde Amendment, a provision that was in the bill from the start, in the bill was a deal-breaker. Dutifully like all puppets do, the Democrats who both co-sponsored the bill, and who voted for it in committee, voted to filibuster the bill.
There’s nothing virtuous about a political party that’s so wedded to its special interest supporters that it’ll turn its backs on victims of sex trafficking in exchange for ideological purity and additional campaign contributions.
Selling one’s soul for political expediency has a name but that name isn’t virtue.
“The corrosion of the Senate took place over many years,” McConnell said in an e-mail to Jennifer Steinhauer of the Times. “So restoring the institution to allow members of both parties and their constituents to have a voice in the legislative process will take longer than three months. But we’re making progress.”
And who is responsible for that “corrosion”? McConnell’s “progress” is slowed by the same political divisions among Republicans that gummed up the works when Democrats had the majority. Maybe Republicans will now acknowledge that Reid was never the problem. The real issue all along has been the GOP’s antipathy to the president.
Let’s be blunt. Harry Reid worked to protect President Obama and Democratic senators. Sen. Reid prevented legislation that got overwhelming support in the House from even getting debated in the Senate. Sen. Reid wasn’t the Senate Majority Leader from 2007-2014. He was the self-appointed emperor of the Senate.
Sen. Reid didn’t let Republicans represent their constituents. I won’t appreciate a tyrant who won’t let elected officials represent their constituents. That’s who Juan Williams thinks we should find a new-found appreciation for.
The mission statement of contemporary Republican Senate politics was issued by McConnell himself in 2010. “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president,” he proclaimed. In response, Reid limited votes on amendments to rein in the political circus and focus attention on legislation that could win passage. “All I want to do is legislate,” a frustrated Reid told me and a small group of columnists last summer.
Harry Reid lied and Juan Williams was gullible enough to believe him. Listen to this sentence:
In response, Reid limited votes on amendments to rein in the political circus and focus attention on legislation that could win passage.
TRANSLATION: Reid shut down debate because he didn’t want debate on issues that the American people disagreed with Democrats on. This wasn’t about reining in “the political circus.” That’s pure spin. This has everything to do with a) preventing Republican from presenting their ideas and b) protecting hard-hearted Democrats who didn’t want to listen to the American people.
Sen. Reid and President Obama are only part of the Senate’s problem. The Democrats’ special interests are another part of the problem as is Sen. Schumer, Dick Durbin and their shrinking band of puppets. It’s long past time we exposed the real cancer in the Senate. We have a republic, not an autocracy.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he won’t bring up any other business until the Senate passes the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act:
When Democrats prevented debate on the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, they objected to the inclusion of the Hyde Amendment in the bill. Here’s a little history on the Hyde Amendment:
In U.S. politics, the Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision barring the use of certain federal funds to pay for abortions except if a pregnancy arises from incest or rape. It is not a permanent law, rather it is a “rider” that, in various forms, has been routinely attached to annual appropriations bills since 1976. The Hyde Amendment applies only to funds allocated by the annual appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services and primarily affects Medicaid.
The original Hyde Amendment was passed on September 30, 1976 by the House of Representatives, by a 207-167 vote. It was named for its chief sponsor, Republican Congressman Henry Hyde of Illinois. The measure was the first major legislative success by the United States pro-life movement after the striking down of anti-abortion laws following the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade. Congress subsequently altered the Hyde Amendment several times. The version in force from 1981 until 1993 prohibited the use of federal funds for abortions “except where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term.
Fast forward to the day when the Senate was supposed to pass the bill. Suddenly, Democrats blocked the bill, saying that they were blindsided by the Hyde Amendment being in this 68-page bill. The Hyde Amendment had been part of the bill from Day One.
WASHINGTON – A staffer in Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s office was aware of a controversial abortion-related provision in a sex trafficking bill that has ground the Senate to a halt and stalled the nomination of the next U.S. Attorney General. Klobuchar is the primary Democratic cosponsor on the bipartisan bill that would establish a restitution fund for victims of human trafficking with money seized from convicted sex traffickers.
The bill was set to sail through the Senate after a brief debate last week until it suddenly stalled when Democrats announced that it contained what’s known as “Hyde Amendment” language they had been unaware of. The language prevents the use of the seized money to pay for abortions.
Up until now Democrats,
, claimed they were blindsided by the language that was included by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.
It’s time for Democrats to give a little. In previous negotiations, they’ve insisted on Republicans caving. I’m happy that Mitch McConnell has locked up the Senate. If the Democrats won’t give on this, why should he give Ms. Lynch an up or down vote?
After getting elected in 2008, President Obama told Eric Cantor that elections have consequences right before President Obama jammed his stimulus bill down our throats. Now that President Obama got his ass handed to him in the 2014 election, President Obama has insisted that elections don’t have consequences. He’s about to find out that they do have consequences.
Technorati: Amy Klobuchar, Al Franken, Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, Filibuster, Loretta Lynch, Democrats, Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, Senate Judiciary Committee, Hyde Amendment, Republicans
Juan Williams’ column is filled with faulty premises. Here’s the first of Williams’ faulty premises:
Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) strategy for defeating Democrats in the final two years of the Obama administration is clear: divide and conquer.
There’s no doubt that Democrats are divided over Keystone. What Williams didn’t detect is that the people are incredibly united on the issue. Almost 70% of registered voters support building the Keystone XL Pipeline. A pathetic 25% of registered voters oppose building it.
If Democrats want to listen to the environmental activist wing of the Democratic Party, that’s their right. If Democrats want to ignore the will of the American people, that’s their option, too. Just don’t try telling me that that’s divide and conquer. That’s giving people the option between doing the right thing and playing partisan politics.
Now he is testing Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) ability as minority leader to hold Senate Democrats together in opposition to a Republican agenda favoring the pipeline, halting immigration reform, lowering corporate taxes, and seeking to destroy Obamacare.
If significant numbers of Senate Democrats are willing to join with Republicans to force presidential vetoes, McConnell wins. He gains the power to paint himself as the good guy working across political lines. And he will smear the remaining Democrats as members of an out-of-the-mainstream party in the grips of leftist ideologues — Obama, Reid, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and possibly Hillary Clinton.
Sen. McConnell’s agenda this year consists of passing lots of things that 70+ percent of the American people support. Pundits call that picking off the low-hanging fruit. It’s the stuff that President Obama and Sen. Reid ignored the past 4 years.
It isn’t surprising that Republicans have a different agenda than President Obama and Sen. Reid. President Obama and Sen. Reid frequently thwarted the will of the American people. They weren’t just characterized as out-of-the-mainstream ideologues. It’s that President Obama and Sen. Reid have been out-of-the-mainstream ideologues.
In 2010, the American people spoke with a clear voice that they didn’t like President Obama’s and Sen. Reid’s agenda. This past November, they spoke with an even clearer voice. They rejected President Obama’s and Sen. Reid’s agenda.
Rather than listen to the American people, President Obama said that he isn’t interested in the American people’s agenda. President Obama and the Democrats have forcefully said that they’re interested only in their agenda.
Hooray for Sen. McConnell for putting the Democrats’ feet to the fire. It’s time to find out if they’re aligning with the American people or with the Democrats’ special interest allies.