Tuesday, January 27, 2015

No More Mr. Nice Mitch

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky)

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell flexed some majority muscle against the now diminished US Senate Democratic caucus last week.

First, Senator McConnell indicated to his colleagues on both sides of the aisle that the Republican US Senate permitted up-or-down votes on  more amendments in the first month of 2015 compared to all of 2014 under former Majority Leader Harry Reid.

How much longer would the Republican majority permit the Democratic minority to stall on legislation which the vast majority of Americans support, along with the mainstream media and labor groups interested in creating more jobs, increasing the Unite States' energy independence, and granting economic relief to hard-hit American still recovering from the Great Recession?

For five amendments, the Majority Leader moved to table the amendments from the following legislators with Yea and Nay votes: US Senator Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts), then Carper (D-Delaware), Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed (D-RI), and Patrick Leahy (D-VT).

Let's be honest. Aside from Senator Tom Carper of Delaware, the other four amendments offered by the two Rhode Island senators, plus Markey and Leahy, were moot points, since those four senators rejected Keystone during the December lame-duck session, and showed no indication of changing their resistance to the bill. They do not want Keystone constructed, and yet they want to add amendments to the legislation?

Durbin complains about GOP heavy handiness, but not Harry Reid's.

The repeated pleas from Senator Markey were priceless to conservative partisans fed up with the ongoing demands for climate change action, and other liberal talking points which have fallen into disfavor with the American people, weary of progressive posturing. Senate minority leader Dick Durbin raised a fuss on the Senate, sarcastically mocking "the spirited debate" which led up to the votes.

Following the rapid succession of votes to table amendments, Senate Democrats took to Twitter to complain about the lack of debate on five amendments to the Keystone Pipeline bill.  They neglected to mention, however, that Democrats voted with the Republicans to table the Carper Amendment.  Majority Leader McConnell is taking out the boxing gloves, and not playing nice. If only more conservatives, and the American People in general, knew more about this. The Republican Majority should master the art of editing and presenting the new fighting spirit.

Still, how has this aggressive approached worked out so far? Yesterday (January 26), Democrats voted to block debate on the Keystone pipeline, in part because of the rushed tabling of five amendments last week. If Republicans can master the media fight better, they can start presenting the Democratic Party as the new obstructionists in Washington, as the Republicans prepare more bills on bipartisan matters, like Keystone, tax reform, and amending Obamacare.

No More Mr. Nice Mitch!

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