August 5, 2014
PEOPLE KEEP YAMMERING ABOUT HOW THE HOUSE ISN’T DOING ANYTHING, BUT THERE ARE ALL THOSE BILLS SITTING ON HARRY REID’S DESK: Harry Reid’s reign of paralysis.
The Senate has not voted on jobs bills sent by the House, any “fix” for Obamacare or a domestic energy development bill. The Senate will not take up a real vote on the Keystone XL pipeline. It will not take up Iran sanctions. It did pass Veterans Affairs legislation and Iron Dome funding, not exactly difficult votes. Other than that, not much of consequence has gone on in the Senate, but not because of Republican objections. The GOP would love to take up many of these subjects, debate them and offer amendments; it is Reid who either won’t take up meaty issues or won’t allow any minority amendments, a practice he has taken further than any modern Senate leader. Speaking to the press on Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said succinctly: “Well, if you look at the last six years, the president and his people, I think, believed they got just about everything they wanted legislatively the first two years.”
In essence, the Senate has become an adjunct of the White House. Reid’s side comes up with no innovative (or even non-innovative) initiatives of its own and doesn’t allow any from the GOP. It changed the Senate rules to rubber-stamp Obama appointees and won’t allow votes on things that will make the White House uncomfortable. It is not that the Senate has been unproductive; that would be an improvement. Rather, it has been counterproductive time and again. It propagates nasty partisanship.
Indeed it does.