Democratic Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid (Nev.) is making an excellent case for getting rid of Harry Reid as majority leader. In farcical fashion, he is denying amendments on energy — which would pass overwhelmingly — to an energy efficiency bill. Minority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (Ky.) took to the floor to decry the logjam:
Once again, the Majority Leader is shutting down the voice of the people in the Senate. For seven long years, he’s refused to allow a truly comprehensive debate on energy in this chamber. He had a chance to change that yesterday. Dozens of Senators asked him to do it. We know the American people want us to do it. But he refused. Apparently, he doesn’t think the American people deserve a vote on a single energy amendment. Apparently, he doesn’t think the American Middle Class — which is being squeezed by rising energy costs and over-the-top government regulations — needs the kind of relief Republicans are proposing. . . . And let’s be honest: he doesn’t seem to think the people we represent deserve a say on much of anything anymore. Democrats over in the Republican-controlled House have received 125 amendment votes since last July. But here in the Senate, the Democrat Majority has allowed our constituents just nine — nine amendments since last July. It’s shameful. But it says a lot about which party is serious these days and which one is just playing games.
It also says a lot about how much Reid cares about his billionaire donors relative to how much he cares about his red state colleagues who will suffer at the polls. Their presence makes him majority leader and backs pro-energy amendments they and their constituents want. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Mark Udall (D-Col.) and the rest would do much better with a GOP majority leader who would welcome their energy amendments.
The gridlock in Congress is artificial and caused by the White House and Reid. Instead of moving a bill that could draw widespread support, Reid thunders that the Koch brothers are among the “main causes” of climate change, a preposterous assertion and a telling sign that rank partisan politics takes precedence over everything else.
This maneuver also works to snuff out the embers of immigration reform. GOP House leadership, as we have reported, needs some movement on their economic issues (200 bills passed by the House sit dormant in the Senate) in order to unstick their members and put forth some form of immigration reform. Reid is telling them that he’ll give nothing, do nothing on any issue that doesn’t align with his big donors and left-wing base. He makes it impossible for the House to advance risky legislation when he pulls stunts like this.
Senate Republicans are blasting Reid from the floor. But GOP challengers are licking their lips. Along with Obamacare, the Democrats’ willingness to subsume the needs of working and middle class Americans to the ideological preferences of their left-wing base is a campaign issue too good for Republicans to miss. Watch for the vulnerable red state Dems to get blasted. They chose Reid as their leader, didn’t they?