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February 25, 2015

I Bring You News Of A Great Republican Victory! The Senate Democrats Have Agreed To Accept McConnell's Surrender With Out Additional Conditions.

Earlier today it looked like the Senate Democrats weren't going to let McConnell surrender on DHS/amnesty funding without having Boehner co-sign the document. Reid and the Democrats must have realized that that was a bit brazen even for them. So they let McConnell bring up the House bill with the solemn promise that he would strip out the offending amnesty provisions. McConnell promptly said the safe word ("Bourbon") and thanked the Democrats for being most generous masters.

The only votes against proceeding to the bill came from Sens. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).

"Democrats will support getting on the House Homeland Security funding bill. In exchange, the leader will provide the only amendment, [it] will be a clean Homeland Security funding substitute," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said.

Democrats had blocked the DHS bill four times before. With a shutdown of DHS set to begin on Saturday, McConnell on Tuesday agreed to split the funding and immigration fights, as Democrats have long demanded.

Reid said earlier Wednesday that the Senate could take a final vote on the DHS funding bill Thursday.

"We look forward to working with our Republican colleagues in the next 24 hours to get this done. All eyes now shift to the House of Representatives," Reid said.

Democrats had earlier worried that if they let the Republicans "get on the bill" McConnell would double cross them and make them vote on amendments. Silly Democrats, McConnell only lies to and cheats conservatives.

So how is McConnell going to keep his "clean bill" "clean"? He'll "fill the amendment tree". You may remember this tactic from the Harry Reid days. It essentially ensures the Majority Leader blocks anyone he doesn't want to offer an amendment from offering it. This way his amendment, the one stripping the anti-amnesty language out will be the only amendment that will be considered.

Now if you have a memory better than say a fruit-fly you'll recall that McConnell argued that "filling the tree" was a dirty trick that he would do away with if the GOP got control of the Senate. In fact, he gave a big speech about it upon becoming Majority Leader (when Reid let's him play the part), just TWO months ago.


“Second, bills should come to the floor, be thoroughly debated, and include a robust amendment process. In my view, there’s far too much paranoia about the other side around here. Both sides have taken liberties and abused privileges. I’ll admit that. But the answer isn’t to provoke each other even more. The answer is to let folks debate; to let the Senate work its will. And that means bringing bills to the floor. It means having a free and open amendment process. It means legislating.

“The Senior Senator from Illinois likes to say that if you don’t want to fight fires, don’t become a fireman, and that if you don’t like taking tough votes, don’t become a U.S. Senator. He has always been right about that. It’s time to allow Senators on both sides to more fully participate in the legislative process, and that means having a more open amendment process around here. Inevitably, this would involve taking tough votes from time to time. But that’s always been the cost of being a Senator. We’re all grown-ups, we can take it. And the irony is, it would probably make this place a lot less contentious, since it’s one of the best things we can do to let off steam. If somebody isn’t allowed to get a vote on something they believe in, of course they’ll retaliate; but if they got that vote every once in awhile, they wouldn’t feel the need to.

“Voting on amendments is good for the Senate, and it’s good for the country. Our constituents should have greater voice in the process. They should also know where we stand on the issues of the day, regardless of whether the majority party thinks those issues are worth debating or voting on. And if Republicans are fortunate enough to be in the Majority next year, they would.

“A common refrain from Democrats is that Republicans have been too quick to block bills from even coming to the floor. What they fail to mention is that more often than not we’ve done this either because we’d been shut out of the drafting process or there wouldn’t be any amendments. In other words, we already knew the legislation was shaping up to be a purely partisan exercise in which the people we represent wouldn’t have any meaningful input. And why would we want to participate in that? Is it good for our constituents? Does it lead to a better product? Of course not. All it leads to is more acrimony.

So when he goes back on his word to have an open amendment process does he do it to punish the Democrats for 8 years of procedural tyranny? Nope. He protects those guys and punishes conservatives.

Team Mitch was happy to give Democrats votes on climate change amendments during the KeystoneXL debate. They even touted how there had been more amendments voted on during their first week in charge than all of last year.

McConnell doesn't make the Democrats pay any price for going nuclear and packing the courts on simple majority votes. Hell, he even rewarded them by letting them have their show votes. But conservatives who want to fight Obama's amnesty? They get thrown in the wood-chipper. Plus as an extra special prize, he screws over the House GOP in the process.

Now the story isn't about Democrats protecting illegal aliens over national security, it's about those crazy TEA party nuts in the House who are taking public safety hostage. Which is exactly what the story would have been had the Democrats kept control of the Senate.

If you donated to, volunteered or voted for a Senate GOP candidate last year, you got sold a bill of goods.

Keep something in mind, we're still less than TWO months into the GOP Senate. Do you think it gets better or worse from here? Yeah.

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posted by DrewM. at 05:48 PM

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