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Archive for the ‘Harry Reid’ Category

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Posted: 07/09/2013 4:39 pm EDT  |  Updated: 07/09/2013 6:27 pm EDT

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) signaled Tuesday that his Democratic caucus members are becoming so frustrated with Republicans blocking President Barack Obama’s nominees that they will again consider whether to invoke the so-called nuclear option to change Senate rules.

“I’m going to have a full meeting with my caucus on Thursday. We’re going to talk about nominations,” Reid said. He did not hint what he would do, but suggested his deliberations were far enough along that the sessions with his members would be decisive.

“I think Thursday, by the time the day’s out, you’ll have a better idea of what we’re going to try to do on this,” Reid told reporters on Capitol Hill.

Senate Democrats had threatened to change rules at the start of the session to make filibusters more difficult, but settled on only mild reforms. At the time, Reid promised not to change the rules for the rest of the Senate session as long as the GOP members conducted themselves in the a less obstructive manner more in keeping with Senate history.

But soon thereafter, Republicans attempted the first-ever filibuster of a defense secretary nominee. They have also slow-walked numerous nominees, subjecting them to hundreds of questions before granting a vote — usually resulting in overwhelming confirmation.

The nuclear option involves using arcane Senate parliamentary procedures to force a simple majority vote, which would than set precedent for similar future votes. Many Democrats feel like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has broken his side of the agreement, and they may be prepared to break theirs.

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Reid says GOP threatening shutdown over family planning funding, Boehner avoids talking specifics

by Jed Lewison for Daily Kos

Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 11:32 AM EDT

In separate statements late this morning, both Harry Reid and John Boehner agreed that we are very close to an agreement to prevent a federal shutdown, but said an agreement had not yet been reached.

Reid said both sides had agreed on the numbers, but that Republicans continued to insist on banning funds for family planning and Planned Parenthood.

Boehner’s brief statement offered no specifics on the state of negotiations other than to say that he believed we were on the cusp of a deal. He offered platitudes about cutting spending, and urged the Senate to pass the House’s so-called “troop funding bill.” Boehner’s statement, which amounted to no more than three or four sentences, seemed to be focused more on keeping up the appearance of brinksmanship and maintaining support from his caucus than on actually addressing whatever issues remain outstanding.

For his part, Reid said he was “appalled” and “personally offended” that Republicans continued to insist on the Planned Parenthood funding ban. “Men and women should be outraged,” Reid said. “Republicans only have a few hours left to look in the mirror and realize how shameful it wold be” to block a deal over family planning and women’s health services funding. “The tea party is trying to move its extreme social agenda, issues that have nothing to do with funding the government. They are willing to throw women under the bus, even if it means shutting down the government.”

Reid said tea party opponents of Planned Parenthood and family planning funding had a right to debate their views, but that holding the government hostage was unacceptable.

Assuming that a deal is reached today (and I bet there will be one), what will probably happen is that the Senate will take up the so-called “troop-funding” bill that House Republicans passed yesterday, and substitute a “clean” CR to keep government open for a few more days while the details of the deal are written into legislative language. Democrats have already put the House bill into the Senate calendar, making it clear they are contemplating this course of action. If the Senate passed the a clean CR, it would head back to the House, which could pass it later today.

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Senate Jobs Bill Vote Passed

ANDREW TAYLOR | 02/24/10 12:27 PM | AP

WASHINGTON — Companies that hire the unemployed would claim new tax breaks under a jobs-promoting bill the Senate passed Wednesday, delivering President Barack Obama and Democrats a much-needed victory.

The 70-28 vote sends the bill back to the House, which passed a far more costly measure in December. Many in the House consider the Senate bill too puny, but they may simply adopt it and send it to Obama in order to get a win. Democratic leaders promise more so-called jobs bills are on the way.

It’s the first major bill to pass the Senate since the Christmas Eve passage of a deeply controversial health care bill and the subsequent election of Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown, which rocked Democrats by demonstrating their falling standing even among heavily Democratic voters.

The bill contain two major provisions. First, it would exempt businesses hiring the unemployed from the 6.2 percent Social Security payroll tax through December and give them an additional $1,000 credit if new workers stay on the job a full year. The Social Security trust funds would be reimbursed for the lost revenue.

Second, it would extend highway and mass transit programs through the end of the year and pump $20 billion into them in time for the spring construction season. The money would make up for lower-than-expected gasoline tax revenues.

The Senate’s $35 billion proposal is a far smaller measure than the $862 billion economic stimulus bill enacted a year ago.

The measure cleared a key hurdle Monday when Brown and four other Republicans broke party ranks to defeat a filibuster. Republican leaders said Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., had used strong-arm tactics to bring the measure to the floor.

In all, 13 Republicans voted for the measure Wednesday. Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska was the only Democrat in opposition.

Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, blasted the measure for increasing the budget deficit to fund highway and transit programs. He said the measure made a joke of Democratic promises to adhere to “pay-as-you-go” budget rules requiring new spending programs to not increase the deficit.

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