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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, November 21, 2013

Democrat Senators Go Nuclear To Help Obama Pack The Courts To Support His EPA And Obamacare Agenda

Today in Washington, D.C. Senate Democrats Go Nuclear - Nov. 12, 2014:
The Senate reconvened at 10:30 AM today and resumed consideration of S. 1197, the Fiscal Year 2014 Defense authorization bill

Today, despite their vehement opposition to this maneuver when Republicans had a majority in the Senate, majority Democrats voted use the nuclear option and break the Senate rules to change those rules. Democrats violated the traditions of the Senate that protect minority rights in a power grab designed to allow confirmation of judicial and executive nominees designed to rubberstamp the Obama agenda.

After breaking the rules of the Senate to change the rules, Democrats then proceeded with their court-packing plan, and used the new threshold of only 51 votes to invoke cloture on a nomination to cut off debate on the nomination of Patricia Millett to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

The House convened at 9 AM and have already passed H.R. 1900 (252-165) — "To provide for the timely consideration of all licenses, permits, and approvals required under Federal law with respect to the siting, construction, expansion, or operation of any natural gas pipeline projects." No addition bill will be considered today. Prior to the final passage of H.R. 1900, the House rejected by recorded votes five additional democrat proposed amendments.

Yesterday the House passed he following bills:
H.R. 1965 (228-192) — "To streamline and ensure onshore energy permitting, provide for onshore leasing certainty, and give certainty to oil shale development for American energy security, economic development, and job creation, and for other purposes." Five additional Democrat proposed amendments to the bill were rejected before passage.
H.R. 2728 (235-187)— "To recognize States' authority to regulate oil and gas operations and promote American energy security, development, and job creation." The following Amendments were approved by voice vote before the bill passed:
Flores (R-TX) – Amendment No. 2 to H.R. 2728 – Requires states to submit a copy of their hydraulic fracturing regulations and chemical disclosure requirements to the BLM for public disclosure and provides other technical/clarifying changes.
Reed (R-NY), Costa (D-CA) – Amendment No. 3 to H.R. 2728 – Directs the GAO to conduct a study on the economic benefits of domestic oil and gas production as result of hydraulic fracturing including job creation, energy prices and State and Federal revenues - as modified.
Jackson Lee (D-TX) – Amendment No. 5 to H.R. 2728 – The Secretary shall conduct an massive new completely undefined annual review of all state hydraulic fracturing activity (including everything from drilling and contacts to regulation and oversight) and submit a report to Congress.
While two additional radical Amendments by Democrats were rejected by recorded votes:
Holt (D-NJ), Peters, Scott (D-CA), Polis (D-CO) – Amendment No. 1 to H.R. 2728 – Allows the Secretary of the Interior to continue to regulate fracturing if done through regulations to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas drilling operations on public lands. - REJECTED 190 – 230
DeFazio (D-OR) – Amendment No. 4 to H.R. 2728 – Prohibits the export of natural gas produced from public lands. – REJECTED 142 – 276

After years of threats, Senate Democrats, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid finally pulled the trigger on the nuclear option today, eliminating the minority’s right to use the filibuster on judges and executive branch nominations.

Democrats lined up to support what they deemed “an outrageous abuse of power” in 2005. At that time, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) called the tactic “an outrageous abuse of power that would pack the courts with out-of-the-mainstream judges.” Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT), now the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said a majority that did so is “willing to sacrifice the role of the Senate as a check and balance in order to aid a President determined to pack the Federal courts.” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said senators supporting the nuclear option “are willing to break the rules of the Senate to change the rules of the Senate” and “are willing to use the nuclear option to destroy the filibuster and to really destroy our system of checks and balances.” Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) said it would be “stripping the Senate of its constitutional role” and Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) warned, “It is important that we do not let another President try to pack the courts. The Senate cannot become merely a rubberstamp for any President.”

Reid, Leahy, Durbin, Murray, Reed, and 47 other Senate Democrats all voted against their prior warnings when they filibustered President George W. Bush’s judicial nominees and voted to strip the ability to filibuster President Obama’s nominees so they can pack the D.C. Circuit Court with liberal nominees who will rubberstamp the president’s agenda.

Outraged, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell blasted the Democrats’ power grab and explained that this was a desperate attempt to distract from the failures of Obamacare. “The President and his Democrat allies were so determined to force their vision of health care on the public that they assured them up and down that they wouldn’t lose the plans they had, that they’d save money instead of losing it, and that they’d be able to keep using the doctors and hospitals they were already using. But of course now we know that rhetoric just doesn’t match reality.
And the stories we’re hearing on a near-daily basis now range from heartbreaking to comic. Just yesterday I saw a story about a guy getting a letter in the mail saying his dog had qualified for insurance under Obamacare. So yeah, I’d probably be running for the exits too if I had supported this law. I’d be looking to change the subject just as Senate Democrats have been doing with their threats of going nuclear and changing the Senate rules on nominations. If I were a senator from Oregon, which hasn’t enrolled a single person yet for its Obamacare exchange, I would probably want to shift the focus too.”

He continued, “[H]ere’s the problem with this latest distraction. It doesn’t distract people from Obamacare. It reminds them of it. It reminds them of all the broken promises. It reminds them of the power grab. It reminds them of the way Democrats set up one set of rules for themselves and another for everybody else. It’s basically the same debate. And rather than distract people from Obamacare, it only reinforces the narrative of a party that is willing to do and say just about anything to get its way. Because that’s just what they’re doing all over again. Once again, Senate Democrats are threatening to break the rules of the Senate in order to change the rules of the Senate. And over what? Over a court that doesn’t even have enough work to do. Millions of Americans are hurting because of a law Washington Democrats forced upon them – and what do they do about it? . . . the parallels between this latest skirmish and the original Obamacare push are just too obvious to ignore. Think about it: The Majority Leader promised over and over again that he wouldn’t break the rules of the Senate in order to change them. On July 14 he went on ‘Meet the Press’ and he said: ‘We’re not touching judges.’ He may as well just have said ‘If you like the rules of the Senate you can keep them.’”

“And let’s not forget about the raw power at play here. On this point, the similarities between the Obamacare debate and the Democrat threat to go nuclear on nominations are inescapable. They muscled through Obamacare on a party-line vote and didn’t care about the views of the minority. And that’s just what they’re doing here too. The American people decided not to give Democrats the House or to restore the filibuster-proof majority they had in the Senate back in 2009, and our Democrat colleagues don’t like that one bit. So they’re trying to change the rules of the game to get their way. They’ve said so themselves. Earlier this year the Senior Senator from New York said they want to ‘fill up the D.C. Circuit one way or another.’ And the reason is clear. As one liberal activist put it earlier this year, President Obama’s agenda ‘runs through the D.C. Circuit.’ In short, unlike the first two years of the Obama Administration, there’s now a legislative check on the President. And the Administration doesn’t much like checks and balances. So it wants to circumvent the people’s representatives with an aggressive regulatory agenda, and our Democrat colleagues want to facilitate that by ‘filling up’ a court that will rule on his agenda — a court that doesn’t even have enough work to do. Especially if it means changing the subject from Obamacare for a few days.” “Let me be clear,” he concluded, “the Democrat playbook of broken promises, double standards, and raw power…the same playbook that got us Obamacare…it has to end.”

In a press conference following Democrats’ vote to break the rules, Leader McConnell reminded reporters that the American people will have the final say here. “The American people are deeply disturbed by this administration and this Senate. And as Senator Alexander ended his remarks by saying the solution to this problem is an election. The solution to this problem's at the ballot box.”

Tags: Democrats, Go nuclear, change senate rules, packing the courts, 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 2:17 PM - Post Link


Anonymous Jeffrey Locke said...

Lusting for more power after shoving the Obama Affordable "NOT" Care Act down our throats.

God is my ruler and Democrats kneel to their judges.


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