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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

'Alinsky' Democrats Prepare Senate Nuclear Option Reid Once Called 'Un-American'

Today in Washington, D.C. - July 11, 2013
The Senate reconvened at 10 AM today. The day began with over an hour of debate between the two leaders as Majority Leader Harry Reid tried to manufacture a crisis on nominations to attempt to justify a power grab by using the nuclear option. The Alinsky Method is alive and well in the White House and in the Senate Democrat Leadership.

At 12:30 PM, the Senate recessed so each party could attend policy lunches to discuss the nuclear option Democrats are pushing.  The Senate will reconvene at 2:15 PM.

Yesterday, Democrat leaders failed to get 60 votes to take up their partisan student loan rate proposal (S. 1238), after refusing to allow a vote on a bipartisan proposal closer to what the House and the president have proposed.

This the second time that Senate Democrats failed to pass a student loan reform bill. (A big part of the problem was the bill really had no reform; it would've just extended the status quo another year.) What apparently was Democrats’ attempt to demonstrate unity and resolve only ended up exposing more chaos and confusion. Most importantly, no progress was made for students and their families. Yes, “Republicans … have relentlessly exploited Democratic splits on the issue,” but at this point, even Democrats and advocates are pointing out the divisions and conceding the debate to Republicans.

Here’s another important question:  where’s President Obama in all of this?  Consider this from Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin: “House Republicans agreed with the president’s compromise plan on the expiration of the student loan discount.  But Senate Dems are at each other’s throats, a clear sign the president didn’t get support for his compromise before releasing it.…the White House doesn’t explain itself, implement its policies (if it has any) or work with Congress. The result is disarray and inaction.There is a well-grounded fear that the White House really isn't capable of doing the simple things, let alone something as unwieldy and ill-conceived as Obamacare.

Speaker John Boehner notedm "Americans have good reason to distrust Washington right now. The Democrats’ inability to resolve an issue where our differences are minimal is exactly the kind of fodder that feeds the people’s discontent."

The House reconvened at 9 AM today and took up H.R. 2642 — "To provide for the reform and continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through fiscal year 2014." It is being said that the Food Stamp provision of the Farm Bill may be removed so the Agriculture portion may move forward.

Yesterday the House passed H.R. 2609 (227-198) — "Making appropriations for energy and water development and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2014, and for other purposes." Before final passage, amendments were offered and voted. The following amendments were approved yesterday by voice vote:
Burgess (R-TX) - Amendment No. 17 - Prohibits funds from being used to implement or enforce energy efficiency standards regarding incandescent light bulbs and other incandescent light sources.
Meadows (R-NC) - Prohibits funds from being used for the salaries of Presidential Recess Appointees until they are confirmed by the Senate.
Scalise (R-LA) - Prohibits funds from being used by the Army Corps of Engineers within the borders of the State of Louisiana to implement or enforce the mitigation methodology referred to as the "Modified Charleston Method".–
Lynch (D-MA) - Increases Corps of Engineers Civil Construction by $20 million and reduces Fossil Energy Research and Development by the same amount.
Blackburn (R-TN) - Prohibits funds from being used by DOE to enforce the proposed rule entitled "Energy Conservation Standards Ceiling Fans and Ceiling Fan Light Kits."
Higgins (D-NY) - Amendment No. 31 - Prohibits funds from being used to relocate or consolidate the personnel or resources of the Buffalo and Chicago Districts Corps of Engineers Great Lakes and Ohio River Division.
Walberg (R-MI) - Amendment No. 32 - Prohibits funds from being used for a national media campaign on green technologies.
Grayson (D-FL) - Amendment No. 14 - Prohibits funds from being used to award a contract to a company that has been convicted of, or is currently indicted/civilly charged for a range of crimes (listed in text of amendment), or has delinquent taxes of more than $3,000 within a three year period of the offered contract.
Scalise (R-LA) - Increases Corps of Engineers - Construction by $2 million and decreases DOE Departmental Administration by the same amount.
Gosar (R-AZ) - Prohibits funds from being used to implement any new programs under the memorandum issues by Steven Chu regarding Power Marketing Administrations.
Turner (R-OH) - Prohibits funds from being used to reduce the U.S. Nuclear weapons stockpile below the levels in the new START treaty.
Nugent (R-FL) - Intended to prohibit private entities that receive federal funds from bringing legal action against the U.S. government.
Engel (D-NY) - Prohibits funds from being used to lease or purchase light duty vehicles not in compliance with the Presidential memorandum on alternative fuel vehicles.
Garcia (D-FL) - Increases Corps of Engineers - Civil - Construction by $1 million and reduces Corp of Engineers - Civil - Expenses by the same amount.
Luetkemeyer (R-MO) - Prohibits funds from being used for the Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study authorized by the Energy and Water Appropriations Act 2009.
Luetkemeyer (R-MO) - Prohibits funds from being used for an environmental study under the Missouri River Ecosystem Recovery Plan.
Kelly (R-PA) - Amendment No. 20 - Prohibits funds from being used to expand the authorized uses of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund.
LaMalfa (R-CA) - Prohibits funds from being used to regulate private property used for agriculture as waters of the U.S.
King (R-IA) - Prohibits funds from being used by the Corps of Engineers from dumping sediment or soil into the Missouri River.
Flores (R-TX) - Prohibits the use of funds to be used to impose the Obama Administration’s continued attempts to establish the National Ocean Policy and ocean zoning under Executive Order 13547 without explicit Congressional authorization.
Flores (R-TX) - Prohibits any funds from being used to enforce the selective fuel bans set forth in Sec. 526 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007; thus, the amendment expands options for the federal government to purchase fuels by from unconventional sources like California heavy oil resources or Canadian oil sands.
Fleming (R-LA) - Prohibits funds from being used for officer and employee salaries to implement the green energy loan program from the 2009 Stimulus Bill.

Senate Democrats are again pushing to harm the Senate and the rights of the minority by manufacturing a crisis as a flimsy justification for using the nuclear option—breaking the Senate rules in order to change the rules so they can steamroll the minority and get their way.

The New York Times notes, “A confrontation in the Senate between Republicans and Democrats over the confirmation of President Obama’s cabinet nominees edged closer on Thursday toward a showdown over changing the rules on filibusters. After a tense exchange on the floor with his Republican counterpart, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, planned to recommend to his fellow Democrats at a private lunch meeting that they should vote to take the exceptional step of barring the minority party from filibustering presidential appointees.”

The Washington Post reports, “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) engaged in a somewhat-heated hour-long exchange on the Senate floor Thursday, with McConnell suggesting Reid’s move to remove the filibuster from certain confirmation votes would negatively impact his legacy. McConnell quoted Reid’s previous opposition to filibuster rule changes from when Reid was in the minority in 2005, and suggested making them now would be on his political tombstone. ‘“Breaking the rules to change the rules is un-American” – his words, not mine,’ McConnell said. ‘I just hope the majority leader thinks about his legacy, the future of his party and, most importantly, the future of our country before he acts.’”

Leader McConnell blasted Reid and Democrats for attempting this move. The Daily Caller writes, “Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell warned Harry Reid on Thursday that the Democratic majority leader’s ‘tombstone’ will say he ‘presided over the end of the Senate’ if he ‘caves to the fringes’ and changes Senate rules to make it easier to confirm administration appointees. ‘No Majority Leader wants written on his tombstone that he presided over the end of the Senate,’ McConnell warned from the Senate floor on Thursday, blasting Reid for suggesting that he will invoke the ‘nuclear option.’ ‘Well, if this Majority Leader caves to the fringes and let’s this happen, I’m afraid that’s exactly what they’ll write,’ McConnell argued.”

In a scathing speech, Leader McConnell said, “It’s an open secret at this point that Big Labor and others on the Left are putting a lot of pressure on Senate Democrats to change the rules of the Senate – and to do so by breaking the rules. That would violate every protection of minority rights that have defined the United States Senate for as long as anyone can remember. Let me assure you: this Pandora’s Box, once opened, will be utilized again and again by future majorities – and it will make the meaningful consensus-building that has served our nation so well a relic of the past. The short-term issue that’s triggered this dangerous and far-reaching proposal is simple enough: the Hard-Left is so convinced that every one of the President’s nominees should just sail through the confirmation process, that they’re willing to do permanent, irreversible damage to this institution in order to get their way. And they've apparently convinced the Majority Leader to do their bidding as they hijack the Senate. They’re not interested in checks and balances. They’re not interested in advice and consent. They’re not even interested in what this would mean down the road when Republicans are the ones making the nominations. They want the power. They want it now. And they don’t care about the consequences. This ends-justifies-the-means ethos has been resisted by basically every Senate Leader in the past, and it's a clear and unequivocal violation of the public assurances that the current Majority Leader made to the entire Senate, his constituents, and to the American people just a few months ago.”

As he pointed out, Democrats once recognized the danger of what they’re now threatening. “[L]et’s be honest about what’s actually going on here. The only crisis here is the crisis that Democrats are creating with their threats to fundamentally change the Senate — something the Majority Leader said just a few years ago he would ‘never, ever consider.’ And here’s why he said that — because, to quote him again, going down this road is ultimately about ‘removing the last check in Washington against a complete abuse of power’.”

At Red State, Ben Howe has compiled an impressive list of quotes from Reid where he decried the nuclear option, saying things like, “For people to suggest that you can break the rules to change the rules is un-American” and “Ultimately, this is about removing the last check in Washington against complete abuse of power, the right to extended debate.”

Reid wasn’t the only one. Before becoming Vice President, then-Sen. Joe Biden warned, “This nuclear option is ultimately an example of the arrogance of power. It is a fundamental power grab by the majority party… It is nothing more or nothing less.” Will he now be the one to preside over such a “fundamental power grab” by his party?

Leader McConnell summed up the situation: “So here are the battle lines. On one side are people who think that Presidents should have the power to unconstitutionally ignore Congress and their constituents – people who believe in it so firmly, they’re willing to irreparably damage the Senate to ensure they get their way. They’re willing to do something the Majority Leader himself said would contribute to the ruination of our country. And on the other side are the folks in my conference — and even some Democrats with the courage to speak up against this power grab. We’re the folks who believe deeply that a President of any party should work within the bounds of the Constitution, and that Senators of both parties should fulfill their own constitutional obligations to thoroughly vet nominees.”

As Harry Reid once said, “Breaking the rules to change the rules. … They don’t want consensus or compromise. They don’t want advice and consent. They want absolute power.”

Tags: Us Senate Alinsky methods, democrats, Harry Reid, nuclear option, abuse of power, student loan interest rates, House, energy, water, development, farm bill, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 11:14 AM - Post Link


Anonymous Kevin Pritchett said...

Harry Reid needs to go!!


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