A line just got drawn on the floor of the Senate by Sen. Harry Reid. (Sure, it was a bit bumbly, but it was a line nonetheless — and a step in the right direction.) The US Senate will operate 24-hours a day from Tuesday forward until bills are either passed or the Republican party antes up with something beyond hypocritical, empty spin. Here’s some background from Bob Geiger:
Forcing his Republican colleagues to put up or shut up on the notion of an up-or-down vote, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) just moments ago announced that he will immediately file a cloture motion on the Reed-Levin troop redeployment bill and, if Republicans follow through with a filibuster, will place the Senate in a prolonged all-night session Tuesday to force a true continuation of debate.
“Now, Republicans are using a filibuster to block us from even voting on an amendment that could bring the war to a responsible end,” said Reid. “They are protecting the President rather than protecting our troops. They are denying us an up or down – yes or no – vote on the most important issue our country faces.”…
Reid will be using the provision of Rule 22 that allows for up to 30 hours of continuous debate once it’s made clear — in this case, by Republicans trying to avoid an up-or-down vote on Reed-Levin — that there is a desire to continue debating the issue.
In other words, the Majority Leader is saying “You want to debate? We’ll stay all night and debate.”
Reid could hold the Senate in continuous session overnight Tuesday and into midday Wednesday unless Republicans agree to a simple-majority vote on Reed-Levin.
Senate Democrats will then be prepared to take to the floor and speak all night and, if their Republican colleagues do not remain in the chamber, invoke ongoing quorum calls and other procedural maneuvers to force GOP members back to the Senate floor.
With the whole specter of cots being dragged into Senate cloakrooms and the pure theatrics involved, I’m hopeful this will shine a white-hot spotlight on the Senate’s Republican leadership and show Americans how the GOP doesn’t truly support helping troops and their families at home or extricating them from pointless involvement in the Iraqi civil war. (emphasis mine)
Thanks so much for making all the calls and sending out the e-mails and faxes today, gang. You guys rock!
But we cannot ease up on pressure — Sen. Jon Kyl is on the floor right now arguing that detainees deserve no legal rights and that the US shouldn’t be required to present lawful evidence as a reason to hold people indefinitely. Appalling and absurd. And a great motivator for making some phone calls in support of habeas restoration. Please call your own Senators and add in some calls to the following: Lieberman, Ben Nelson, Hagel, Lugar, Craig, Collins, Snowe, Coleman, Voinavich, Sununu, Landrieu, Gordon Smith, and Alexander. This is an updated list from earlier, with a few mor names added to the “not sure of their vote now” list. So, any calls you can make to these folks in support of the restoration of habeas would be much appreciated!
UPDATE: I got a couple of questions about whether or not the Webb amendment will be up for reconsideration. That isn’t clear at this point, but I’ll let everyone know as soon as I hear something definitive on that. I hope it will — Mitch McConnell should not get away with his machinations without having to pay a hefty public penalty for it.
PS — FYI for everyone, Amb. Joseph Wilson endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton’s Presidential candidacy today. Taylor has more.
(Don’t know what it is about the Freedom video using George Michael’s song and visuals to skewer the Bush Administration, but I was in the mood for it today. So enjoy the YouTube.)