Abject failure
"Hi, I’m Harry Reid and I’m a failure!"

In the Senate on Tuesday, there were votes on four amendments to HR 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, passed by the House last week. I want to focus here on two of those amendments, Senate Amendment 110, offered by Democrat Patty Murray of Washington and Senate Amendment 109, offered by Republican Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.

Here’s McClatchy’s description of what Murray’s amendment would have done:

Their proposal would’ve added $18 billion for highway and rail projects and $7 billion for clean-water and sewer projects.

Coburn’s amendment, according to the Senate website, was:

To strike the $246 million tax earmark for Hollywood production companies.

What was the fate of these two amendments? Murray’s amendment "failed" while getting 58 votes in its favor. Coburn’s amendment got only 52 votes in its favor, yet it passed.

Just whose side is Harry Reid on, anyway? Why would he allow the Republicans to require 60 votes for passage of a Democratic amendment and not require 60 votes for a Republican amendment to the same bill?

For those keeping score, only Mary Landrieu voted no on the Murray amendment, and the McClatchy article linked above states that her vote was because she wanted to see more Corps of Engineers funds in the bill. Two Republicans, Kit Bond and Arlen Specter, voted in favor. Gregg and Kennedy did not vote and all other votes were along party lines.

More Democrats crossed the line to vote on Coburn’s amendment: Bayh, Bennet, Byrd, Carper, Casey, Dorgan, Feingold, Hagan, Johnson, [Lieberman], McCaskill, Pryor, Udall and Webb. The only Republicans crossing over to vote no were Vitter and Voinovich.

Harry Reid’s actions on these two amendments show that he still is incapable of standing up for the principles of the Democratic Party and that he will continue to allow the Republicans to control social hot-button issues despite the huge Democratic majority.

New and better leadership, please!

Jim White

Jim White

Follow me on Twitter @JimWhiteGNV

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