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Exposed: Harry Reid should not be allowed to manipulate Senate rules to further stifle Senators’ freedoms

By James Christophersen

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) accidentally drew back the curtain on fabricated tales of Republican obstructionism and revealed the dark secret of Democrats who have been promoting “gridlock” in the U.S. Senate for nearly a full four years.  It happened so quickly anyone who blinked missed it.

Upon filing for Senate consideration of the Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG) Act, Sen. Reid immediately “filled the tree” by offering the maximum amount of amendments permitted under the rules and filed cloture on the bill before any other Senator could speak, offer debate or filibuster the bill.

Senator Reid essentially asked the Senate to consider a bill then immediately asked to end consideration on that bill, all within the space of a mere two minutes.  Some have speculated this parliamentary slight-of-hand may have made history with its sheer speed.

While proclaiming the need for filibuster “reform” and complaining of its over use by the minority, Senator Reid continues to apply these tactics, limiting debate and preventing Senators of both parties from submitting their own ideas through amendments.  His actions essentially produce a “majority filibuster” which prevents the voices of citizens throughout every one of the 50 states from being heard through their Senators.

Yet, even while setting a new speed record, Sen. Reid’s tyrannical control of the calendar is nothing new.  Reid has spent the last four years turning such bold obstruction into regular operating procedure for the Senate – with Tuesday marking the sixth-ninth time Sen. Reid has launched a majority filibuster.

These actions are atrocious in their violation of the purpose of the Senate in our federal government and their steamrolling of two key rights of all Senators.

On the official Senate website, the Senate Historian notes: “All senators have two traditional freedoms that, so far as is known, no other legislators worldwide possess. These two freedoms are the right to unlimited debate and an unlimited opportunity to offer amendments, relevant or not, to legislation under consideration.”

Since Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has successfully manipulated standing Senate rules to severely stifle (and in many cases, entirely eliminate) the second of these unparalleled freedoms by routinely “filling the amendment tree,” only one of those freedoms remains.  With Reid’s iron-fisted control of the process — frequently preventing even Senators from his own political party from offering their own amendments — it is no wonder Senators of all stripes question the wisdom of removing their remaining freedom. In fact, it is a wonder Majority Leader Reid does not face a mutiny from within his own party.

But the story gets much, much worse.  Because Reid cannot capture enough votes (despite a Democratic majority of 55 Senators) to institute his radical rules change under the existing rules (which requires 60 votes), he has proposed a method that ignores the rules entirely.  Instead, Reid’s grand plan is to pretend the “Standing Rules of The Senate” simply do not exist during the first day of a new Congress – and only during the first day.

This runs into a major problem through a simple reading of Rule V, Section 2, which itself clearly states that (emphasis added): “The rules of the Senate shall continue from one Congress to the next Congress unless they are changed as provided in these rules.”  Furthermore, this rule was initially adopted, at the will of the Senate itself, in recognition of the Senate’s unique place in our legislature.

For Majority Leader Harry Reid to completely ignore the rules in order to re-write the rules (something he promised he would never do) in the name of political expediency would violate matchless freedoms of every U.S. Senator while also violating the Constitution itself.

Ultimately, this boils down to three observations.  One, the pervasiveness of majority filibuster and obstructionism of their own agenda has helped slow action in the Senate.  Two, this atrocious behavior by the Senate Majority Leader snatches away exceptionally unique freedoms and rights of Senators from both sides of the aisle, and all deprived Senators should demand reform.  And three, Majority Leader Reid’s proposal, if carried through, would irreparably depart from the rules and Constitutional provisions guiding our “most deliberative” legislative body.

This is the essence of the current debate between totalitarian forms of government and conservatives: whether existing rules can be ignored for political or popular expediency, or whether the rules must be followed in order to protect the unique freedoms and force compromise which truly moves our nation forward.

Regardless of what reforms are needed in the Senate, the rules are the rules – and those rules must be followed in order to bring about credible, positive and lasting improvement.

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Texas Hold’em: To Hell With It, Let’s Jump Off the Fiscal Cliff

Obama must not know Texas Holdem.

by Derek Hunter

We’ve all heard about the “fiscal cliff.” But what does it mean? The media won’t bother to explain it in any detail, and people aren’t looking it up on their own. So, a great many Americans think it’s a physical place, a vacation destination of some sort. I understand people are busy with their lives, but a majority of Americans just voted to re-elect President Obama, a man whose failed leadership created this harmonic convergence of economic mess that is the fiscal cliff. So I say, “To hell with it; let’s jump.”

President Obama is still in campaign mode, traveling the country to sell his unserious proposal of $1.6 trillion in tax hikes, more insane spending and a laughably small amount of spending cuts. So much for a “balanced” plan. But the president couldn’t even be bothered to deliver his “plan” to Congress himself. He sent Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, an alleged financial wizard who claims he “misfiled” his taxes because he couldn’t properly use the near idiot-proof TurboTax.

Democrats are unwilling to take seriously the coming crush of entitlement spending. They took entitlement reform off the table before negotiations even began, and their megaphones in the media don’t put down their pompons long enough to report honestly about any of it.

The House of Representatives has passed an extension of the current tax rates, and the Democratic-controlled Senate has done exactly nothing with it. The Senate could vote to just extend the current rates they support and deal with it in a conference committee, but it won’t. It won’t do anything because the party that controls the Senate doesn’t want anything done.

What few leftists will tell you is they want tax rates to increase on everyone. That’s why the president campaigned on extending them for the middle class for only one year, not permanently. They know, just like hiking rates on top earners, that will harm the failing economy, but they don’t give a damn. They want more money.

Liberals have no interest in even inching toward a government that lives within its means because, unlike every other individual, company and entity in the world, government is the only entity that can simply vote itself more means. Max out your credit cards, then tell Visa you’re raising your own credit limit, and let me know how that works out for you.

Republicans should start now, raising a lot of money and running ads about how Democrats are unserious and responsible for taxes going up. Spend money to explain the situation to the American public. The media never will report it, and Republican leaders, such as John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, don’t have the bully pulpit or ability to communicate Ronald Reagan did. So paid media is the only option.

In the meantime, the people voted for Obama, so let them have Obama. Just make sure to pin every ounce of failure on his chest like a scarlet letter.

Yes, sequestration will cause serious cuts in defense spending, but the military can handle it. Liberals become aroused at the prospect of cutting defense, and liberal voters in Virginia and Maryland would be hardest hit as defense contractors lay off Obama voters in those blue states. I say good. Sometimes voters have to take their medicine, even if it’s a suppository.

It won’t be easy, but the military will adapt. That’s what the military does, and that’s why it is the best in the world. And half the automatic sequester cuts will come from domestic spending – bureaucracies also filled with Obama voters, who will be less able to deal with them. If they can’t adjust their spending to absorb the cuts, they’ll have to lay off people. Again, good.

If Republicans refuse to extend unemployment benefits, these newly unemployed Obama voters eventually will get to experience first-hand the lifestyle their vote empowered. Welfare state overlords on welfare. Can you think of a better education for bureaucrats than to be forced onto the very programs they administered, so they themselves experience the soul-sucking, aspiration-killing impact of what they’ve done to others? Karma is exactly what they say it is.

Or, if Republicans don’t have the “intestinal fortitude” for this (which leadership hasn’t displayed in years), the House should pass a middle-class tax cut but keep the top rates the same. And make them permanent. That would force Democrats to reject an actual middle-class tax cut, not the “keeping-rates-the-same” nonsense they’re now trying to sell to the American people as a tax cut.

We know Democrats aren’t interested in cutting taxes for the people they claim to fight for, so call their bluff. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama like lying about middle-class tax cuts, so pass the bill and see how they react.

But none of this will work if Republicans don’t start a smart, aggressive, expensive and sustained ad campaign that circumvents the media. The key word is “smart,” and it’s also the catch. The Republican Party needs to treat itself like Keith Richards and embrace failure and go with all new blood. If the party doesn’t shed those who brought us the debacle of Nov. 6, no strategy will work. Just like voters who re-elected a failed, incompetent president expecting a different outcome, Republicans can’t retain the same failed team and expect to win.

Democrats have no interest in addressing our massive deficit and out-of-control spending; it’s up to Republicans. The question is this – do Republicans have the will? We’ll all have to have to take our medicine sooner or later. If we don’t take advantage of the opportunities now, that suppository will end up being like a cyanide pill.

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Lanny Davis Covers for Holder and Murders in Fast and Furious

Democrats are getting desperate when it comes to Operation Fast and Furious. They will do anything to deflect from the fact that people using the guns that Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice “walked” across the border to murder Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and more than three hundred Mexicans.

Read more: Lanny Davis Covers for Holder and Murders in Fast and Furious | U.S. Open Borders.

Three Years With No Budget: What, Me Worry?

Today Marks Three Years Since The Senate Passed A Budget; For A President Who Refuses To Lead, That’s Not A Big Deal

THE DEMOCRAT-CONTROLLED SENATE LAST PASSED A BUDGET THREE YEARS AGO TODAY AND IS ACTIVELY FIGHTING AGAINST PASSING ANOTHER

The Senate Last Passed A Budget Three Years, 1,097 Days Ago. (S. Con. Res. 13, Roll Call 173; D 53-3, R 0-40, I 2-0, 4/29/09)

“In A Stunning Backtrack,” Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) Canceled A Scheduled Vote On A FY2013 Budget Bill. “In a stunning backtrack that virtually guarantees Congress for the third year will be unable to produce a budget, Senate Democrats’ top budget writer Tuesday canceled this week’s expected votes on a 2013 fiscal blueprint.” (Stephen Dinan, “Democrats Punt On Senate Budget Bill For 3rd Year,” The Washington Times, 4/17/12)

  • Conrad “Bowed To Pressure From Fellow Democrats” And Postponed Considering A Budget Until After The Election.Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) bowed to pressure from fellow Democrats on Tuesday and postponed a committee vote on a 2013 budget resolution, most likely until after the November elections.” (Erik Wasson, “Sen. Conrad Backs Off Plan to Vote On Budget,” The Hill, 4/17/12)
  • It Was A “Surprise” To Democrat Leaders That He Wanted To Pass A Budget At All. “So it was a surprise to Democratic leaders when Conrad indicated in a Fox News interview April 8 that he wanted to mark up a 10-year plan to guide the lame-duck session after the elections when major decisions such as expiring taxes will need to be addressed.” (Humberto Sanchez, “Conrad Budget Plan Puzzling,” Roll Call, 4/16/12)

THE WHITE HOUSE HAS “NO OPINION” ON WHETHER DEMS SHOULD PASS A BUDGET AND NO PLANS TO PROPOSE A BUDGET THAT CONTROLS OUR DEBT

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Says The White House Has “No Opinion” On Whether The Senate Should Pass A Budget. ABC NEWS’ JAKE TAPPER:The White House has no opinion about whether or not the Senate should pass a budget? The president’s going to introduce one. The Fed chair says not having one is bad for growth. But the White House has no opinion about whether – ” JAY CARNEY:I have no opinion — the White House has no opinion on Chairman Bernanke’s assessment of how the Senate ought to do its business.” (White House Press Briefing, 2/8/12)

President Obama “Has Been All-Too-Willing To Avoid Making Tough Decisions.” “One of President Obama’s political weaknesses in his first term has been that he’s all-too-willing to avoid making tough decisions, hesitant to expend political capital for potential long-term gain.  Throughout his first term in office, he’s had a cautious governing style, and has avoided taking on some of his party’s core constituencies.” (Josh Kraushaar, “Obama Trying To Have It Both Ways,” National Journal, 11/30/11)

  • Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner Admitted That The Administration Doesn’t Have A Plan, But “We Don’t Like Yours.” GEITHNER: “What our budget does is get our deficits down to a sustainable path over the budget window. Why do they take off again? Why do they do that?” REP. PAUL RYAN: “Because we got 10,000 people retiring every day, and healthcare costs going up…” GEITHNER: “That’s right. We have millions of Americans retiring every day, and that will drive substantially the rate of growth of healthcare costs. You are right to say we’re not coming before you today to say we have a definitive solution to that long-term problem. What we do know is, we don’t like yours.” (Committee On The Budget, U.S. House Of Representatives, 2/16/12)

According To CBO, The Massive Deficits Produced By Obama’s FY2013 Budget Will Reduce Economic Output. “The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Friday that President Obama’s 2013 budget will hurt the economy in the long term, arguing the larger deficits it would produce would reduce the amount of capital available to businesses. After five years, the CBO says, the Obama proposals would reduce economic output by between 0.5 percent and 2.2 percent.” (Erik Wasson, “CBO Estimates Obama 2013 Budget Will Hit Economic Growth,” The Hill’s “On The Money,” 4/20/12)

Obama’s FY2013 Budget Increases The Deficit More Than His FY2012 Budget And Will “Have A More Negative Long-Run Effect.” “The effects of the 2013 budget differ from those of the preceding budget in four main ways. In particular, the proposals for 2013 would do the following: Increase deficits by a greater amount, largely because of a greater increase in spending compared with that in CBO’s baseline. Those larger deficits would provide a bigger short-run boost to output but then have a more negative long-run effect.” (“The Economic Impact Of The President’s 2013 Budget,” Congressional Budget Office, 4/20/12)

“Larger Deficits Caused By The Budget Would Cause The Government To Issue More Bonds, Sucking Up Private Capital To Finance Its Debts And Thereby Reducing The Funds Businesses Could Use To Expand And Hire, The CBO Said.” “Larger deficits caused by the budget would cause the government to issue more bonds, sucking up private capital to finance its debts and thereby reducing the funds businesses could use to expand and hire, the CBO said. An increased tax on capital gains included in the president’s plan would also tend to reduce private capital, it says.” (Erik Wasson, “CBO Estimates Obama 2013 Budget Will Hit Economic Growth,” The Hill’s “On The Money,” 4/20/12)

  • “Slower Economic Growth Tends To Increase Deficits By Reducing Tax Collection And Increasing Spending On Items Like Unemployment Insurance.” (Erik Wasson, “CBO Estimates Obama 2013 Budget Will Hit Economic Growth,” The Hill’s “On The Money,” 4/20/12)
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Three Years With No Budget: What, Me Worry? | RNC: Republican National Committee | GOP.

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