Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Pork-A-Palooza in danger of not passing?

Today the House and Senate are supposed to vote on the non-compromise compromise bill hammered out in just under 24 hours after the Senate passed it on Tuesday. A lot of hard feelings abounded from that compromise session because of two reasons:

-- The GOP was frozen out of the compromise negotiations.

-- Blue Dogs got rolled by the Senate Democrats.

This isn't good, and Captain Ed takes note of the fact that Reid is scrambling to find extra votes in the Senate:

CNN has learned that one day after securing an agreement on a giant economic stimulus bill that is expected to pass narrowly with the votes of three moderate Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is calling other Republican centrists trying to persuade more of them to vote for the measure.

He’s looking for additional votes out of an abundance of caution, an aide explained, after learning that ailing Sen. Ted Kennedy, who returned to Capitol Hill for votes earlier this week, has now gone back to Florida to continue his recovery from brain cancer and won’t be here for a final vote on the stimulus bill in the coming days.

With Kennedy here, the Senate version of the bill passed 61-37 – just one vote more than needed.
Reid is concerned that if a Democratic senator gets sick, or has some other unforeseen obligation, he could have trouble getting the bill passed.

Reid is also concerned because the three GOP moderates who support the bill – Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania – suggested they did not want provide the decisive 60th vote for passage. That would likely happen without Kennedy voting.

Let's get this straight folks, they don't need sixty votes to pass this. They need sixty to avoid a filibuster by Republicans. That's what Reid wants. It's high time that Arlen Specter, Olympia Snowe, and Susan Collins get that through their fat, stupid skulls. The Democrats don't need any Republican to pass this Pork-A-Palooza. They have the votes to do it on their own. But they want Republican support so Harry Reid can crow about how he got "bipartisan" support. Hey Harry, three GOP RINOs don't equal bipartisan at all, you dunce.

Harry's afraid that if he doesn't get those three on board, the GOP will filibuster the Pork-A-Palooza. Well, yes, that might just happen. And now that Judd Gregg is back in the Senate, that's another vote on our side. Hopefully Senator McConnell is doing what Harry's doing only in Harry's backyard. Hopefully he can pull a couple of moderate Democrats over to our side, and really give Harry some fits.

Meanwhile, on the House side, Blue Dogs are just about fed up with Pelosi, and are slighted at how they were treated by Harry's caucus of thugs:

Leading House Democrats were smiling on Thursday, but some of them are furious with the Senate on its handling of the economic stimulus bill.

Even though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) praised the $789 billion conference legislation, talks between the chambers have clearly left some battle scars.

And House Democrats are vowing that from now on, things will be different.

“We will tell the Senate Democratic leadership to let the GOP filibuster,” a House leadership aide said. “The House is not going to move on what the Senate passes and give in during conference like we have been doing.

“I think we are going to need some of those [filibusters] to satisfy House Democrats that they have a voice, that they are representing their constituents and getting things done the way they were elected to do,” the aide said. ...

For the most part, House Democrats bit their lips in the last Congress when the Senate took the lead on many high-profile bills. But this year, with 58 senators who caucus with Democrats, Reid and his deputies should be more aggressive, according to some House Democratic members.

Rodell Mollineau, staff director for Reid’s communications office, said, “We understand that while House Democrats are frustrated that the Senate cannot take up and pass their bills, given the Senate’s rules that’s not an option. So I think we all need to step back and take a deep breath.”

“Looking down the road we face a decision: Should we try to pass bipartisan legislation that addresses America’s problems, or stick with party line votes that don’t have enough support to pass?”

Democrats have no one to blame except Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Had they actually stuck by the promise to do this in a bipartisan fashion, and listened to Republicans calling for more tax cuts -- specifically targeted tax cuts -- then none of this would have happened. The bill would have been real stimulus, would have sailed through both Houses of Congress, and already been on Barry's desk for signing. But they didn't do that. They concocted the bill in secret, left the GOP, and Blue Dogs, out of the process, and didn't give their colleagues adequate time to review it.

This whole fiasco was an exercise in incompetence by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. They deserve every bit of derision that's heaped on them over this worthless bill.

Publius II


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