Harry Reid Goes Nukular
Posted by John Hitchcock on 2011/10/09
And it could very well back-fire on him — in the short term, and the long term.
In an all-out effort to prevent the Senate Republicans from forcing a vote on Barack Obama’s “jobs” bill, Harry Reid has pulled out all the stops, including using the “nuclear” option. In a move that upset over 100 years of precedent and changed the rules on the fly without consulting Republicans, Harry Reid and 50 other Democrats decided to change the rules and not permit an amendment after a cloture vote, after the Senate Parliamentarian had declared Republicans had that right. And the amendment the Republicans wanted to offer was Barack Obama’s “jobs” bill that Barack Obama has been constantly demanding “pass this now”. That’s right, Democrat Harry Reid is refusing to allow Democrat Barack Obama’s “jobs” bill to even be voted on.
As Allahpundit said:
Apparently, to spare The One the humiliation of having members of his own party vote no on the PassThisBillRightAway Act of 2011, Reid freaked out and nuked the GOP’s right to offer amendments entirely. That’s how much of a fiasco O’s jobs plan is right now: Simply to avoid having to vote on it, longstanding Senate rules are being rewritten on the fly by … his own party.
Senate Republicans vow they will retaliate for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) decision to unilaterally change the Senate’s rules Thursday without prior warning or negotiation.
Republican aides say their bosses will now be even more reluctant to allow the Senate to conduct routine business by unanimous consent, forcing Reid to gather 60 votes for even the most mundane matters.
“Reid fired a major salvo and it’s hard to imagine a return shot won’t be fired. Maybe over the weekend they’ll come up with something and try to make it less worse than it already is,” said a Senate GOP leadership aide. …
Triggering what has come to be known as the chamber’s “nuclear option,” Reid overturned Senate precedent that allowed Republicans to force votes to proceed to non-germane amendments. He did so by voting with 50 of his Democratic colleagues to overturn a ruling by the Senate parliamentarian.
The controversial procedural tactic hasn’t been used in years. In a chamber where it requires the consent of all 100 senators to dispense with the reading of a bill, changing the rules unilaterally is considered bad form.
Harry Reid (D – NV) is trying to prevent the fallout by having a little get-together to discuss things and smooth things over. But Republicans likely won’t buy it this time around. You see, Harry Reid made Republicans an offer at the beginning of the year, which Republicans accepted. Then Harry Reid acted like a Democrat.
When Ronald Reagan approved the Democrats’ tax increases, it was based on Democrat promises of cutting 3 dollars in spending for 1 dollar in tax increases. The Democrats broke that promise immediately. Ed Morrissey notes:
At the beginning of the year, Reid and McConnell worked out an agreement to allow Republicans to offer limited amounts of amendments while Republicans promised to stop filibusters on motions to proceed (as opposed to motions to close debate and vote) unless the bill in question was very controversial. All year long, though, Reid has aggressively filled the amendment “trees” to keep Republican amendments from being considered, which had already angered the GOP caucus. After dropping this bombshell on them with no warning and no negotiation, Republicans aren’t going to be in a mood to attend Reid’s venting session or trust him to keep his word at all.
So Harry Reid went Democrat and broke his promise, what’s new? And he thinks he can prevent nuclear fallout from his nuclear blast by making even more promises he knows he’ll be going Democrat and breaking? Expect the Senate to get even more bogged down now than it was before. And come 2013 when Republicans are once again in the majority, expect the Reid precedent to be remembered and used, much to the dismay of Harry Reid and the Democrats who set that precedent.
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