The Republican National Committee chaired by Reince Priebus and the Concerned Women Political Action Committee teamed up for a ‘Fire Harry Reid’ protest on the Capitol steps on Tuesday. The protest aimed to call attention to gridlock caused by Reid’s obstruction of critical legislation, but there was an underlying warning as well.
If Democrats expand or retain power in the November elections, nothing will change.
Politics aside, Preibus’ initiative is timely and even necessary.
Reid has lowered the standards of the U.S. Senate with speeches on the floor that sounded more like campaign stumping than the serious deliberation the Senate has traditionally been known for. By the time Reid spouted information about Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s personal tax returns—information that turned out to be false—many Americans were shaking their heads at the lack of respect Reid showed the body he is supposed to lead.
The leader Democrats chose for the Senate hasn’t just fired off rants about Republicans, he has obstructed bills supported by his own party members.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) tweeted a photo of herself standing by a stack of the more than 300 bills Reid has deliberately permitted to gather dust on his desk.
Legacy media controlled mostly by Democrats didn’t give the protest much attention. They should have. CNS News reported:
“Blackburn and other speakers listed the bills by category: 43 deal with job creation, 31 to reign in government spending, 15 in support of veterans and numerous on energy, including H.R. 3 to approve the construction, operation and maintenance of the Keystone XL pipeline. The latter has been under review by the Obama administration for more almost six years…”
Prior to the protest, House speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) called attention to Reid’s slipshod tactics, issuing a release stating, “The Senate went three months this spring without voting on a single legislative amendment.”
Boehner included a list of 10 bills that would have nurtured a pro-jobs climate. Despite the fact some of the bills were supported by large numbers of Democrats in the House, Reid blocked them all.
Leadership policy trickles down, and some in the Senate have followed Reid’s approach. For instance, despite the current border crisis, Sen. Barbara Mikulski cobbled issues like welfare for foreign nationals, spending for Gaza, and combatting wildfires together in an emergency spending bill although she knew Republicans would not accept parts of her legislation. In essence, Mikulski derailed her own bill purely for politics as she followed the standard Reid has established.
Besides political grandstanding and obstruction, there is another failure on Reid’s part that has contributed to the breakdown of the separation of powers established in the U.S. Constitution. Reid has done nothing to assert authority as Obama has expanded Executive Branch powers in a manner that has drawn criticism even from self-described legal liberal scholars.
When Obama amended the health tax bill, he gave waivers to employers so they would not be penalized if they did not provide health insurance. Obama left in place the tax on individuals. Although a president cannot unilaterally amend legislation, Reid was silent even though he knew Obama’s waiver would further defund a huge spending bill that has already been partially defunded. Democrats even put a bailout for insurance companies into the bill to protect corporate profits.
Reid’s refusal to stand up to the president is one reason for Americans’ distrust on immigration legislation. After all, Reid deceptively manipulated the health tax bill that put the federal government in charge of healthcare as well as a potential tax on every American’s body.
For the first time in the country’s history, a political party forced Americans to purchase a service from a finite group of corporations or pay a tax that is illicitly and deceptively called a penalty in the actual legislation.
For the country, the best thing Democrats could do would be to fire Harry Reid and place someone more stable and even-tempered in the powerful Senate leadership position. That would also benefit Democrats, something media might have made note of had they given the protest attention, especially since a women’s PAC assisted.
As for Republicans, as long as Reid is in his position, the GOP will likely reap the benefits from his failures come November.
CNS quoted Priebus:
“For too long Harry Reid has run the Senate with an iron fist, blocking legislation though it helps working families,” Priebus said. “Under Democrat control, the Senate has stopped working for the American people.”
Featured Photo: Rep. Blackburn tweeted an image of herself standing by the more than 300 bills offered by the U.S. House offered. Despite bipartisan support for some, Reid has blocked them all. (Photo: Twitter/@MarshaBlackburn)
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/July 30, 2014)
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