October 6, 2011

Harry Reid triggers the "nuclear option."

The "shocking development," reports The Hill, blocks Republicans "from forcing votes on uncomfortable amendments after the chamber has voted to move to final passage of a bill":
The Democratic leader had become fed up with Republican demands for votes on motions to suspend the rules after the Senate had voted to limit debate earlier in the day.

[Republican Leader Mitch] McConnell had threatened such a motion to force a vote on the original version of President Obama’s jobs package, which many Democrats don’t like because it would limit tax deductions for families earning over $250,000. The jobs package would have been considered as an amendment.

McConnell wanted to embarrass the president by demonstrating how few Democrats are willing to support his jobs plan as first drafted.

37 comments:

traditionalguy said...

The Jobs Bill must not pass on Reid's watch.

It is a PR stunt to blame Obama's destruction of American life on Bush and Boehner.

Obama is evil.

Kirby Olson said...

I wonder if people still consider him to be a president, or whether now we just see him as someone who got into the White House by dint of crashing it or something. He no longer seems like the legal president. He's some kind of weird flickering joke who somehow ran a Conga line into the presidency. But he's lost his mojo.

What really makes me laugh is all his stuff about the Brent Spence bridge. He didn't fool anyone with this. Each move he has seems so old now. He probably still has some cult members willing to drink the Kool Aid, but only 40% of the country still approves of the fella.

How many are still ardent about him? Maybe all of them will end up about as cool about BO as Michelle seems to be. She warned us that he stinks in the morning like old cheese. No one listened.

What a smell to wake up to.

avwh said...

A nuclear option so the Dems in the Senate don't have to vote on the proposals of their leader, the POTUS.

If that doesn't speak to the incompetence and irrelevancy of their Zero, I don't know what does.

rcocean said...

Does anyone really care? Isn't this where John McCain reaches across the aisle and saves the Senate from 'partisanship'?

Oh wait, that only happens when Johnny or Lindsey can get the approval of the NYT.

Nevermind.

Cedarford said...

33 Senate seats in 2012, 23 Democrat. Only one Republican seat is in serious danger - Scott Brown. With 8 Dems in real trouble.

If Romney is the nominee and runs strong against Obama and gets independents and Reagan Dems that went back to the Dems when Bill Clinton was elected again in 1996 - that could mean taking of some Senate seats not now thought to be in play. In the Midwest, Northeast, and a big help to Scott Brown.

Perry will be the Souths favorite son, but I don't see him helping the "undercard" as much as Romney potentially could.

Cedarford said...

I know some partisan conservative idealogues will say "Better a 100% Democrat" than a "95% Republican voting, stinking RINO, that fails one or more purity tests".

But ask Mitch McConnell, Newt, or one of Reagan's old advisors - if they prefer a pure Democrat over an impure RINO.

In the North, from the Dakotas over to Mass, CT, RI - with Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, and Missouri inbetween..Romney might be able to add to the 8 current possibilities another 7 Dem Senate seats to being in play and would be a big boost to Scott Browns reelection chances.

There is also the fact that Romney would put more states in play in the Presidential contest than Texan Perry would - and that would tie up a lot of money in Obama's war chest to be devoted to trying to save "The One" rather than broken out of Obama's coffers and rushed to save Tammy Baldwin, Kaine, Stabenow, McCaskill, etc.

Quayle said...

So Mr. Smith Goes to Washington be damned, Harry Reid would rather burn the Senate to the ground than allow Obama's political hoax to be revealed.

What a statesman, that Harry Reid is.

Roux said...

Mitch McConnell doesn't need to embarrass the POTUS. He's doing a fine job on his own.

Scott M said...

Could the Democrats show a front more in disarray if the GOP would have scripted it for them?

Scott M said...

I know some partisan conservative idealogues will say "Better a 100% Democrat" than a "95% Republican voting, stinking RINO, that fails one or more purity tests".

Very, very few have that sentiment, C4. Most are going ABO these days.

EDH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EDH said...

'McConnell wanted to embarrass the president by demonstrating how few Democrats are willing to support his jobs plan as first drafted."

It's the Democrats' unwillingness to vote for the Jobs Bill that will "embarrass" the president.

What McConnell did to Obama is simply "call his bluff."

'member that?

SDN said...

If ORomneycare were 95% that would be one thing; I'm not sure he breaks 50.

james conrad said...

I predict this will come back to haunt the dems when they are in the minority, say 2012. And to change the senate rules on such a trivial matter is really stupid.

Bruce Hayden said...

Obama's "Jobs" bill isn't going anywhere, regardless of the tax increases (on quarter or fifth millionaires now). The whole thing was a poison pill for the Republicans (so they could be portrayed as "do nothing) and red meat for his baes, but since it is so bad, the Democrats won't come close to passing it in the Senate - with 23 seats at risk, and only a 3 seat margin, they are toast there.

Much of it is "Stimulus II", since all his first "stimulus" package did was dig us deeper into the recession (despite Pelosi claiming that unemployment would be 14.5% if it hadn't passed - the same lady who claimed it had a 4 1/2 to 1 Keynesian multiplier).

This time, the payoffs to the government unions are blatant and above board, instead of being hidden as Medicare, etc. help to the states. And, there are a lot of same shovel-unready infrastructure projects too. Plus more "green jobs" give aways.

Even if it were to have passed the Senate, the House would just laugh. They might talk tax cuts, but would pass on massive subsidies for unionized government workers, "green job" give aways, and shovel-unready projects, at a minimum.

The other problem that the Dems have here is that the Republican House has sent multiple budgets to the Senate, where they languish, along with other legislation aimed at creating jobs. If Obama tries the "do-nothing" strategy, it will likely boomerang back on those 23 Democratic Senators up for reelection, as they are the ones doing nothing.

edutcher said...

Ya love it, right?

Cedarford said...

33 Senate seats in 2012, 23 Democrat. Only one Republican seat is in serious danger - Scott Brown.

Don't hold your breath on that one. Elizabeth Warren is starting to look and sound like Maatha Coakley.

The Drill SGT said...

quotes about reaping and sowing come to mind.

Issob Morocco said...

Can we revisit the caterwauling of Sen. Reid when Republicans threatened to do this back under Bush to allow Court Nominees to be voted upon.

Hypocrisy, thy name is the Democratic Party and one of your leading examples is Harry Reid.

The Drill SGT said...

Issob Morocco said...
Can we revisit the caterwauling of Sen. Reid when Republicans threatened to do this back under Bush


good point. The GOP at that point was trying to, you know, actually do something, and the Dems were stalling.

In this case, the Dems are conducting political theater, the "China Currency Bill" and the Dems are pissed that the GOP is getting the upper hand in the theater by forcing their "dead man walking" Red State Dems to make suicidal votes.

PS: OT, I note that Sen Kerry (D-Heinz), spoke favorablly on the goals of the OWS demonstrators. One wonders if when the Mob reaches Cape Cod, and they start lining millionaires up against the wall to shoot them, "which side of the blindfold, does he think he and Theresa will be on"?

X said...

this will make it easier to repeal obamacare. thanks harry.

Paul said...

OK! As you roll a stone, so shall it be rolled back to you Harry.

Yep, when you Donks loose the Senate, expect the Republicans to use that nuke on YOU!

PETER V. BELLA said...

Harry Reid knows he is toast. If the GOP takes the Senate he will be reduced to a back bencher.

Scott M said...

If the GOP takes the Senate he will be reduced to a back bencher.

The GOP will take the Senate. The key question is by how large a margin. If Reid is reduced to a back-bencher, it will free up more cowboy poetry time for him.

Is cowboy poetry as painfully self-aware and awful as most modern poetry?

TMink said...

I think that should read "McConnell wanted to embarrass the president by taking the man at his word and attempting to do what the President asked."

Just words. Just phrases.

Trey

sorepaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sorepaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Original Mike said...

"McConnell wanted to embarrass the president by demonstrating how few Democrats are willing to support his jobs plan as first drafted."

This is too cynical. It serves the to electorate to get our elected officials on record. Then we can make informed choices. If you don't, then the politicians are free to demagogue the issue.

Mitch H. said...

The Senate is so damn gnomic and insular that I can't really tell if this is partisan wind or if Reid actually did something drastic. The Senate Rules are so... make-pretend and built on air that it's hard to get excited about the whole thing. They can never just vote things up or down, but have to go through these endless mirror-maze corridors of cloture and fake-filibustering and amendment-offering fake-out votes.

Am I right in reading this as not shutting down the filibuster, but just closing out yet another way to filibuster without having to stand and yammer on the floor for twenty hours straight?

gregq said...

This is probably the single dumbest move I've seen from a major Democrat politician in my political lifetime.

He could have gotten 34 Democrat Senators to vote against suspending the rules, and it would have been an embarrassment to the President. Instead he forced 51 Democrat Senators to vote against the President's job bill, and made it a major topic of conversation on the Sunday morning talk shows.

And the payback will be glorious. In 2013 we're going to have a Republican House, Senate, and President. And the Democrats in the Senate have now established that it's acceptable to change the rules by majority vote. Which means the first time in 2013 that the Democrats try to filibuster anything the Republican base will point a gun at the heads of the Republican Senators, and say "get rid of the filibuster, and pass the damn bill."

Something the lefties should be asking themselves: if Reid is willing to do this now, why didn't he do it last year, and get rid of the filibuster when the Democrats controlled the House, too?

gregq said...

Mitch:

This is significant. Normally it takes a 2/3 vote to change the Senate rules. The "nuclear option" is so-called because you can get around that 2/3 barrier, it's just that doing so was likely to blow up in your face the next time you're in the minority.

There is pretty much always a large gap between "what the rules will let you do" and "what you should do." This move lived in that area. In order to keep red state Democrat Senators from having to vote on President Obama's jobs bill, and various other bills, some actually popular, that Republicans wanted to make them vote on, Reid forced through a change in the Senate rules with only 51 votes.

Come 2013, the Republicans will be in control of the Senate. And if the Democrats come up with a way, under the Senate rules, to embarrass or obstruct the Republicans, McConnell is going to say "the Democrats of the previous Senate have established that it is entirely proper to change the rules with a simple majority vote. Now it's our turn."

We've all been thinking that the Republicans were going to win the Senate, but not make 60 votes, and that was going to matter. Reid's move means it doesn't matter, all we need is a big enough majority so we can get 50 votes to change the rules as needed.

Goodbye ObamaCare. Goodbye Dodd-Frank. Goodbye Sarbanes-Oxley? Hey, maybe we'll get Wisconsin style union laws at the Federal level now!

The sky's the limit. Because Reid and 51 Democrat Senators just changed the rules.

Saint Croix said...

Here's a theory.

Harry Reid is pro-life.

Reid wants Roe v. Wade overturned.

Reid wants a pro-life Republican (a Scalia, an Alito, a Roberts, a Thomas) to get on the Court, so Roe v. Wade will be overturned.

When Democrats fillibuster the right-wing nominee from the Republican President, the Republicans can (and probably will) use the nuclear option to run over any fillibuster from the minority.

And when the media reports on it, they will also have to report how the Democratic Senate used the nuclear option in 2011.

So maybe, just maybe, Reid has a secret agenda here. He wants to take out Roe v. Wade, but without hurting his own political standing. So he has given the Republicans the ammunition to do it.

mm4w said...

Democrats, including Harry Reid's, 2005 reaction toward Republicans using the "nuclear option."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkXjYohzAOY&feature=youtu.be

Eric said...

I'm all for this rule change. Anything that weakens the filibuster is going to be useful when the Dems lose the Senate in 2012.

Scott M said...

Anything that weakens the filibuster is going to be useful when the Dems lose the Senate in 2012.

Do you think Obama will start working with Habitat For Humanity too after his incompetent administration sends the left into the wild for about three cycles? If we're lucky and actually get competent GOP leadership (which is not assured, I assure you), it might be longer.

Mitch H. said...

Harry Reid is pro-life.

Pfft. Reid's Democratic pro-life, which means about as much as my Republican nominal pro-choiceness - a combination of inertia, unwillingness to admit old errors, and the value of camouflage. It saves him argument to be "pro-life", so he's "pro-life", in air-quotes.

As for this being a big deal because of precedent - precedents only count when Republicans are harmed by them, because only elephants have long memories. Democrats are like that guy in Memento - constantly surprised by the world because they can't remember what happened past fifteen minutes ago.

gregq said...

Don't worry, Mitch. It doesn't matter whether or not the Democrats "forget" what they did, we Republicans will remember, and we Republican activists will be telling Republican Senators in 2013 "you have no excuse for letting them filibuster that. It's time for you to pull a Reid."

Marshal said...

"And the Democrats in the Senate have now established that it's acceptable to change the rules by majority vote. "

Democrats already did this. They passed Obamacare through reconciliation with a simple majority. Republicans should pass a reversing law the same way.