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February 06, 2007

Live By The Cloture Vote, Die By The Cloture Vote

It was supposedly a way of defending institutional integrity when Democrats used their ability to block cloture votes when the GOP had a Senate majority. Now the Republicans are using the tactic to prevent the passage of a cut-and-run resolution on Iraq, and the Democrats are howling.

A long-awaited Senate showdown on the war in Iraq was shut down before it even started yesterday, when nearly all Republicans voted to stop the Senate from considering a resolution opposing President Bush's plan to send 21,500 additional combat troops into battle.

A day of posturing, finger-pointing and backroom wrangling came to nothing when Democratic and Republican leaders could not reach agreement on which nonbinding resolutions would be debated and allowed to come to a vote. The Senate's 49 to 47 vote last night to proceed to debate on Bush's new war policy fell 11 votes short of the 60 needed to break the logjam. Just two Republicans, Norm Coleman (Minn.) and Susan Collins (Maine), voted with the Democrats to proceed with the debate. Both are considered among the most vulnerable senators standing for reelection in 2008.

Republicans insisted that the impasse will soon be broken. But the leaders of the two parties appeared to be far from a compromise last night, and the White House has worked hard to block action on a resolution disapproving of the president's decision to boost troop levels.

"What you just saw was Republicans giving the president the green light to escalate in Iraq," Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said after the vote. Reid contended that Republicans "are trying to avoid a debate on this matter."

Republicans said they have no desire to avoid a debate, asserting that they simply want a fair hearing on their proposals.

"We are ready and anxious to have this debate this week," said Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.).

Hey, harry, didn't you folks like to use this very method to stop legislation you opposed as recently as last year? How, then, can you object to its use today, now that you are in the majority?

Oh, that's right -- the shoe is on the other foot, and you don't like having to play by the rules you established when you obstructed Senate business while in the minority.

And frankly, I want to see the GOP prevent any vote on any measure that will undercut the troops and their mission by giving aid and comfort to the enemy.





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Comments on Live By The Cloture Vote, Die By The Cloture Vote

Who's saying the Republicans shouldn't be able to use it?  I've not seen anybody whining about that.  I've seen a few complain that they are choosing to use it, but nobody complaining about the propriety of using it.

Actually, I love seeing the Republicans desperately trying to avoid discussion of their optional war.  It's kind of funny, especially since they are aligning themselves against the vast majority of Americans who have lost faith in this administration's judgment and abilities.

I'm seeing a much larger Democratic majority in 2008.  Senator Bond's seat, once thought to be safe, may switch to the Democrats, in light of his vote to ABOLISH the minimum wage.

|| Posted by Dan, February 6, 2007 07:29 AM ||

Gee, Dan, would you care to cite a vote for the abolition of the minimum wage? 

Not that the abolition of such illegitimate government interference with the free market isn't a bad idea.

|| Posted by Jacob, February 6, 2007 10:04 AM ||

Here you go, Jake.  If you're a Texan, you have one of your own who opposes the vast majority of the nation, too.

|| Posted by Dan, February 7, 2007 06:23 AM ||

I applaud those 39 Senators for speaking truth to power and opposing the unwise interference of the federal government in the free market.

|| Posted by Jacob, February 7, 2007 12:56 PM ||

Though I will note that you are lying about the measure in question, which does not abolish the minimum wage, but rather allows it to be different in different places depending upon the economic realities of each state.

|| Posted by Jacob, February 7, 2007 12:57 PM ||

It would abolish the federal minimum wage.  Don't be unusually dense Jacob.  Federal Senators voting to abolish the federal minimum wage.  You asked for proof, and I provided it.

Funny to have you applauding the Senators for speaking truth to power, when the power is the vast majority of Americans.  Republicans are fighting a rearguard action against the American people on Iraq and on the minimum wage.

They'll be defeated again in 2008.

|| Posted by Dan, February 7, 2007 09:27 PM ||

Dan, I'm with Jacob here -- that isn't what the bill did at all, no matter how you try to spin it.

Instead, the bill recognizes that the cost of living is different in every part of the country, and allows the minimum wage to be adjusted accordingly -- just like the salaries of federal employees.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, February 7, 2007 10:17 PM ||

Of course you side with Jacob - no surprise there. But a bill abolishing the federal minimum wage is a bill to abolish "the" minimum wage, exactly as I said. The possibility that states would enact reasonable minimum wage doesn't change that fact.

States have always been able to set their own minimum wagesm and many have. The federal wage, you may not know, doesn't apply to everyone. The state wages generally do.

You're falling for the spin and ignoring the substance. A federal senator voting to abolish the federal minimum wage is voting against the VAST majority of American voters - that's the fact and substance. And acting like he's doing it because of some states rights is simply spin.

Given that Jacob didn't even know it happened, it doesn't surprise me that he fell for the spin.

|| Posted by Dan, February 8, 2007 06:31 AM ||

Having read the amendment, I agree with Jacob.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, February 8, 2007 06:48 AM ||

Shocking.

|| Posted by Dan, February 8, 2007 10:22 PM ||

Yes, your misrepresentation of the amendment in question was rather shocking.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, February 9, 2007 05:27 AM ||
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