Election-year fears slow Senate work to a halt


WASHINGTON – A fear of voting has gripped Democratic leaders in the Senate, slowing the chamber’s modest productivity this election season to a near halt.

With control of the Senate at risk in November, leaders are going to remarkable lengths to protect endangered Democrats from casting tough votes and to deny Republicans legislative victories in the midst of the campaign. The phobia means even bipartisan legislation to boost energy efficiency, manufacturing, sportsmen’s rights and more could be scuttled.

The Senate’s masters of process are finding a variety of ways to shut down debate.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., now is requiring an elusive 60-vote supermajority to deal with amendments to spending bills, instead of the usual simple majority, a step that makes it much more difficult to put politically sensitive matters into contention. This was a flip from his approach to Obama administration nominees, when he decided most could be moved ahead with a straight majority instead of the 60 votes needed before.

Reid’s principal aim in setting the supermajority rule for spending amendments was to deny archrival Sen. Mitch McConnell a win on protecting his home state coal industry from new regulations limiting carbon emissions from existing power plants. McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, faces a tough re-election in Kentucky.

15 Comments - what are your thoughts?

  • frankenbiker says:

    Reid is always changing the rules of the senate. He doesn’t think their will eved be a change of watch, and that his r u le changds may come back to haunt his demoncrap ass buddies.

  • WiSe GuY says:

    The Senate has been taken over by 0bama ass kissers.

  • kyrunner says:

    Honestly with Harry Reid in control I believe NO action is better for America than any Democrat law they would push. Hopefully if GOP takes over Senate and maintains the House they can put the brakes on any more horrible legislation to go forward. If the GOP could pass good laws to HELP our economy and Obama veto’s them then the Democrats would have to decide whether to back a loser like Obama or try to actually do some things good for the AMERICAN people for a change.

  • savage24 says:

    The less this Senate does the better off the country is. Quit looking the gift horse in the mouth.

    1. rickouellette says:

      You may have a valid point. Maybe we should give them a new task and that is to see how many laws they can repeal rather than enact. There are so many laws on the books that it is impossible for any human being to know what they pertain to or whether they are being enforced or not. Common sense dictates a review, repeal and shred approach. Good Luck America !!!

  • I Seigel says:

    Um, and what about the House? No comment on the 70 or so days that Boehner has scheduled for the House to actually be in session this year? And THAT’S what you call “fair and balanced” reporting?! What a joke!

    1. rickouellette says:

      For your information the House has passed enough legislation which has been tabled by Harry Reid to keep the Senate busy for at least six solid months., The democrats are showing their true color-yellow-as they are afraid to vote on something that their constituents may not like. How about that for jelly fish backbone!!! Another Obamacare ?? Good Luck America !!

      1. I Seigel says:

        Other than passing a repeal Obamacare for – what? – the 14th time, what has the House passed? Did they take up the jobs bill that was sent to them from the Senate? The immigration bill? Please tell me what bills they passed, in a bipartisan manner, that Boehner can IN ALL GOOD FAITH think have a chance of passing in the Senate? Or are the bills SO partisan that the Republicans pass them only to polish their own résumés and so they can campaign on them with money from their superPACs ?

        1. rickouellette says:

          Well if you are saying that the Senate is all caught up and has nothing to do it might be time for them to work on a budget,tax reform, or sealing the border. Seems like there is plenty for them to do . The jobs bill that you mention was a budget breaker. There is a difference between buying jobs and creating jobs. When the government gets involved it is usually buying jobs and real jobs are created by the private sector. As for the immigration bill you know that the first thing that needs to happen is sealing the border., A comprehensive immigration bill would mean that every part of the bill would be implemented except closing the border which would be the last item on the agenda after another 2 or 3 million more illegals enter the country. As for campaign money I guess the democrats do not have superpacs so the tooth fairy and George Soros must be their only source of funds. Good Luck America !!!

          1. I Seigel says:

            I did not say that the Senate was all caught up and had nothing to do. I agree with you that there’s plenty for them to do. And for the House to do. My original comment was not about pending legislation; it was to point out the hypocrisy of the Fox News “fair and balanced” story blaming only the Senate for the stalemates in the bills and saying the House (and Republicans in general) are blameless.

          2. rickouellette says:

            Agree that there is plenty of blame to go around on both sides. Do you think that balancing the budget and reducing our national debt is important ? If you do, can you name one democrat in the current congress who has ever submitted a balanced budget or any legislation that would pare down the debt ? What percentage off GDP does the National Debt have to attain before it gets someones attention? Good Luck America !!!~

          3. I Seigel says:

            Thanks for your answer.
            No, I don’t think that a balanced budget is a priority at all, especially when so many people are out of work and not looking. The priority should be trying to give incentives to business to hire more people. The priority should also be changing the tax laws and closing loopholes to encourage companies to stay in this country, manufacture here, pay taxes here. A balanced budget is a red herring. It’s simply a way for Koch Brothers and the conservative elite to get us to agree to less government, which translates to less regulation and less taxes. THAT’S their true goal, and a conservative spokesman is on record from 40 years or so saying it.

            Why is a balanced budget supposed to be so good? The main reason I’ve heard is that it’s supposed to give the business community and banks and credit markets more confidence in our economy so they invest more. But have you noticed that investments are doing just fine – the stock market is almost at an all time high – and interest rates remain very low and will continue to do so. So what do we gain by balancing the budget?

            I’m not a liberal Kool-Aid drinker, but people who blindly believe that we HAVE to have a balanced budget or there’ll be Armageddon have been drinking the Tea Party Kool-Aid.

      2. I Seigel says:

        Hello Rick, Here are some actual FACTS as listed by the websites of the Clerk of the House and the Clerk of the Senate (easily findable via Google):

        The Senate has taken up 23 House bills this year so far. They’ve accepted or agreed to 19, and rejected 4.

        The House has taken up 5 bills from the Senate. They’ve accepted or passed all 5.

        So you see, once again you’re the victim or consumer of bad information. The Senate has debated and acted on MANY more House bills than the House has debated Senate bills. Get your facts straight before calling names.

  • logger1492 says:

    Cowards! I thought all the crap they were pushing was what the constituents wanted. Oh, maybe it was why I felt a lump in my throat as they were ramming legislations through. Cowards!

  • WiSe GuY says:

    Democrat, another word for TRAITORS.

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