Grand Obstruction Party Continues to Stand For Failed Status Quo
Don’t put those coffee pots away just yet. The cloture vote on Levin-Reed was 52 FOR — 47 AGAINST — which means no cloture. And then, some maneuvers took place procedurally on the floor. I’ll try to line out what is going on for everyone. Bob Geiger has an explanation that is straightforward, so let’s start there:
In an in-your-face response to Republicans continuing to block a full Senate vote on withdrawing American troops from Iraq, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) just moments ago set aside the pending Defense Authorization Bill until the Senate’s Republican leadership stops defying the will of the majority of Congress and the American people and allows votes on the Iraq occupation.
“This has been a long week and it is only Wednesday,” said Reid on the Senate floor. “We have now been in session continuously for 2 days. On Monday I submitted a simple request for consent to proceed to an up or down vote on the Levin/Reed Amendment to the Defense Authorization bill. As I have stated, this amendment provides a clear, binding and responsible path to change the U.S. mission and reduce our combat presence in Iraq.”
“Regrettably, Republicans chose to block this amendment. They chose to deny the American people an up or down vote on a bipartisan amendment. They chose to continue protecting their President instead of our troops – no matter the cost to our country.”
Reid then laid out his next step: “Because Republicans continue to block votes on important amendments to the Defense Authorization bill, we can make no further progress on Iraq and this bill at this time.”…
What Reid did was pull the Defense Authorization bill from the floor in its entirety. Because the budget items do not go into effect for the DoD until October for this particular appropriation, there is no question of this keeping money from the troops — and any Republican who says so is lying — let me just get that out there up front.
This is a pretty in-your-face procedural move from Reid — who gave the GOP leadership an opportunity to vote on all of the amendments up or down and, when they refused, Reid left the Grand Obstruction Party to stew in its own obstructionist failure. He’s left no cover for them or for the Bush Administration for continued stall and obstruct maneuvers on this — instead, the onus is on them to explain why their actions are focused on protecting the President’s flank, rather than on standing up for American soldiers and against more failed policies.
And so Reid is moving on to Homeland Security appropriations.
If the Republicans obstruct on that, too, then it will be a good thing they have the cots in the Capitol already…
(More on this as I get it. Cuppa coffee photo via http://www.flickr.com/photos/basak/623625646/.)