A liberal-leaning, liberal-centrist to some, Think Tank, The Brookings Institute, has come to the conclusion that a Democrat-controlled Senate is to blame for Washington gridlock. Seems the Senate Committee process is the problem. Brookings points to the House passing twice as many bills as the Senate this year. Most of those House bills had not a chance of making it to the floor of the Senate. It’s called corruption. This minute, Forty, that’s 40, JOBS bills are stuck in the Senate today.
“When we look at this category, then, we begin to understand where the problem lies: even in the traditionally collegial Senate, 87 percent of bills die in committee,” Molly Jackman and Saul Jackman, of Brookings, and Brian Boessenecker write in Politico. “While the filibuster may grab all the headlines, committees are a far deadlier weapon.”
That observation undermines the conventional wisdom about Republican opposition to President Obama causing gridlock. (even taking into account the statement from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who said in 2009 that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”)
One countervailing point against the idea that the committees account for the gridlock: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has the authority to bypass the committee process and bring legislation to the Senate floor for a vote — which he does on controversial issues, such as the unemployment insurance extension. Source: Washington Examiner
Here’s a statement from quoted from Republican Mitch McConnell in the Examiner article linked above:
“The only way 100 senators will truly be able to have their say, the only way we’ll be able to work through our tensions and disputes, is if we’re here more,” he said during a Jan. 8 floor speech. “It’s the best way I know to force an outcome everybody’s satisfied with. We got a glimpse of that during last year’s budget debate. Somebody who has two dozen amendments at noon starts to prioritize those amendments around midnight. They start talking about what it would take to get unanimous consent. That’s how you reach consensus — by working, and talking, and cooperating, through give and take.”
That should leave out the back room deal-making which is how bills are passed today, and the only way ObamaCare passed.
Behind all of this, however, is the President’s “pen” and “phone,” making law through executive fiat and crashing right through Congress like a bully through a school bus.
By late May 2012, this source says Harry Reid had tabled 2,748 bills sent to the Senate by the House:
Of the 189 cloture motions filed by Harry Reid, 186 were filed on the same day, actually within minutes of, the Bill being presented to the floor. When a Bill is presented to the Senate, it has to go through to readings before debate can begin. Invoking cloture at the same time the Bill is presented to the Senate floor in essence locks out any possibility of debate over the bill and forces the vote to be on the Bill as it is. There’s no opportunity to discuss amending or changing for the better any Bill once cloture is invoked.
October 2013, Twitchy caught Reid admonishing Boehner for not holding a vote, but the House had voted 26 times since the last Senate vote, at that time.
Remember the fuss Democrats made about the SNAP program, with several members of Congress taking the SNAP Challenge and living for a week on the equivalent of food stamps? The bills sitting on Harry Reid’s desk include continuing appropriations for the SNAP program for 2014, as well as money for FEMA and compensation for furloughed government workers. President Obama even scolded the House from FEMA headquarters today.
While the White House cherry picks which parks and websites to shut down, Reid has made it clear that he won’t allow Republicans to “cherry pick” programs to fund — not even SNAP. Fund food stamps for women and children? Why would Harry Reid want to do that? [readers click this link to see the depths of the corruption which may have affected your children]
These are things we must understand thoroughly and remember.
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