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Posts Tagged ‘Harry Reid’

Huff Post

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.

MORE HERE

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Huffington Post 7/30/11

Jennifer Bendery

WASHINGTON — With just three days left until the country is set to begin defaulting on its debt, the House rejected a debt proposal by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Saturday — a move Republicans designed purely for theatrics to show the bill lacked the votes to pass.

The bill was rejected by a vote of 173 to 246. Eleven Democrats joined all of the House Republicans in opposing Reid’s bill. The defecting Democrats included Reps. John Barrow (Ga.), Dan Boren (Okla.), Bruce Braley (Iowa), David Loebsack (Iowa), Jim Matheson (Utah), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), Collin Peterson (Minn.), Mike Ross (Ark.), Kurt Schrader (Ore.), Peter Visclosky (Ind.) and David Wu (Ore.).

Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) headed to the White House to discuss the state of play with President Barack Obama shortly after the bill went down.

House Republicans pushed Reid’s bill through via a restrictive voting process: The measure was taken up on the suspension calendar, which requires a two-thirds vote to pass, bars amendments and limits debate to 40 minutes.

Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.), who sits on the House Rules Committee, called the day’s business “a joke,” “a disgrace” and “an insult to the American people.”

The effect of taking up Reid’s bill on the suspension calendar — a move typically reserved for noncontroversial measures — is “a $2.5 trillion bill being brought up under the same process used for post offices,” McGovern said.

Read more at Huffington Post

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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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Jobs Bill VOTE: GOP Filibuster Fails As Scott Brown And Others Break With Party

Huff Po- Ryan Grim  First Posted: 02-22-10 04:44 PM   |   Updated: 02-22-10 07:40 PM

Scott Brown was in and out of the Senate chamber and had voted against his party before most of his colleagues had even arrived.

“It’s a small step, but it’s still a step,” Brown told reporters after casting a procedural vote in favor of the Democratic jobs bill, bucking his party leaders and the strategy of opposition they have carried out since President Obama took office.

For Senate Democrats, it was much bigger step. Four Republicans followed Brown’s lead, giving the jobs legislation 62 votes, two more than needed to cut off a GOP filibuster.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) thanked the newly-elected Republican from Massachusetts. “I hope this is the beginning of a new day here in the Senate. Whether this new day was created by the new Senator from Massachusetts or some other reason, I’m very, very happy that we were able to get this done. But there are some winners. Not any individual Senator, not Democrats or Republicans. The winners are small business people throughout this country.”

Brown was followed by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who was followed by her home state GOP colleague Olympia Snowe.

Sens. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) and Kit Bond (R-Mo.), who are retiring, also backed the bill.

Voinovich’s vote came after he was given an assurance from Reid that the surface transportation reauthorization bill that Voinovich prizes will be given high priority.

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Crooks and Liars
By Heather Monday Dec 21, 2009 10:00am

From The New York Times–Health Bill Passes Key Test in the Senate With 60 Votes:

After a long day of acid, partisan debate, Senate Democrats held ranks early Monday in a dead-of-night procedural vote that proved they had locked in the decisive margin needed to pass a far-reaching overhaul of the nation’s health care system.

The roll was called shortly after 1 a.m., with Washington still snowbound after a weekend blizzard, and the Senate voted on party lines to cut off a Republican filibuster of a package of changes to the health care bill by the majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada.

The vote was 60 to 40 — a tally that is expected to be repeated four times as further procedural hurdles are cleared in the days ahead, and then once more in a dramatic, if predictable, finale tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

VIDEO AND MORE HERE

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I’m pissed off.

I’m pissed off at health care reform. I’m pissed off at this endless process of emotional highs and lows and exhilaration and dejection and history and infamy.

I’m pissed off that President Obama “thanked” the independent senator from Connecticut even though the senator nearly killed health care reform this week.

To that point, I’m pissed off at Joe Lieberman. I’m pissed off at his childish, vengeful, opposite-day hackery. I’m pissed off at his giant pie-shaped head and his passive aggression. I’m pissed off that he enjoys government-run Medicare benefits while opposing government-run insurance for the rest of us.

I’m pissed off at the Senate. The whole Senate. The rules, the senators, the color of the walls, the fact that a doof like Chuck Grassley can actually be elected to it. Multiple times. I’m pissed off that even though we finally have a 60 seat supermajority, it’s dysfunctional and Harry Reid is in charge of it. I’m pissed off that senators of both parties receive government-run primary care from the Office of the Attending Physician, while denying it to everyone else.

I’m pissed off at cable news and the establishment press for focusing more on The David Letterman & Tiger Woods Underpants Party than the substance of health care reform.

I’m pissed off at Rahm Emanuel and I’m pissed off at the “scary profane a-hole” mythology that’s built up around him, and how he only seems to use his powers of intimidation to bully the left.

I’m pissed off at the Republicans. I’m pissed off at their ongoing self-contradictions and lies and bumper sticker sloganeering. I’m pissed off that around 55 Republicans are on Medicare, yet they oppose government-run health care for the rest of us. I’m pissed off at Tom Coburn’s bulbous Dirk Diggler haircut.

I’m pissed off at having to compromise while a handful of lopsidedly powerful conservadems get whatever they ask for.

I’m pissed off at the Senate health care reform bill. I’m pissed off at the House health care reform bill. I’m preemptively pissed off at the conference report, too, and I don’t even know if we’ll even get that far.

And I’m pissed off that my progressivism leads me to the unavoidable conclusion that if we don’t pass health care reform now, innumerable bad things will continue to happen due to the fact that there’s a very serious health care crisis in America. I’m pissed off that I can’t, in good conscience, allow my anger to coerce me into believing that we should “kill this bill.” I’m pissed off about that, too, because I know what could have been, and yet I have no other choice but to settle for what is. For now.

But being pissed off doesn’t make this reality any less real.

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There appears to be a simple two-pronged strategy for killing health care reform.

One of those prongs involves, of course, delaying reform until it’s too late. If it’s not passed by the end of the year, there won’t be the political balls to do so because of the fast approaching 2010 midterms when members of Congress will be much more focused on raising money (health care industry money) and pandering to voters.

Another reason for delaying health care reform is it gives the Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats plenty of extra time to inject their special cocktail of mind-bending crazy into the discourse and make it stick, furthering both the current delay while also eroding any voter impetus to pick up the issue again after the midterms. That’d be prong number two.

Not a single dose of the aforementioned “mind-bending crazy” actually holds up when run through even the most cursory fact-checking scrutiny, and, in every statement, the obstructionists trafficking in these lies further underscore their already obvious contradictions and ideological hypocrisy.

Regarding the latter, I can’t recall, for example, this degree of nipple-twisting from Republicans and Blue Dogs about spending and fiscal responsibility when the Bush administration was pitching a blank check invasion and occupation of Iraq on the heels of invading Afghanistan — all during a recession — while also passing a $1 trillion tax cut for the wealthiest one percent the year before.

Yet affordable, accessible health care for everyone is a bridge too far, right? (My blood pressure kicks up into the red zone whenever I hear Republicans today suggesting that they were against the Bush administration’s spending habits when, in fact, they supported each program individually. After all, opposing the commander-in-chief in wartime emboldened the enemy, no? Not any more apparently since we’re still at war and the heretofore “patriotic” far-right won’t even admit the president is an American citizen. Consistent of them.)

Back to the mind-bending crazy. I detailed some of these attacks last week, and my friend Michael J. Elston (Washington, DC radio’s “Buzz Burbank”) hit some of the arguments in his new Huffington Post blog as well. But who knew they would top themselves this week with an attack so simultaneously absurd and shameless that it easily fits comfortably in the Birther/Truther wackaloon syllabus.

This is of course the notion that the president’s health care reform plan includes a mandate to kill old people.

First, here’s Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-Cuckoo’s Nest) on the House floor:

It’ll make sure we bring down the cost of healthcare for all Americans, and that ensures affordable access for all Americans, and is pro-life because it will not put seniors in a position of being put to death by their government.

And the de facto leader of the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh:

According to Politico:

Sean Hannity believes it. So does House Minority Leader John Boehner. Talk show host Fred Thompson calls it “the dirty little secret” of the health care reform debate.

Yes, if you believe what these cranks are selling, the Obama administration is engaged in an elaborate plot to rid the nation of its burdensome population of old people. All this fluff about a public option, all the debate about reducing costs and making health insurance more affordable is merely subterfuge in the White House’s scheme to impose a final solution to the nation’s obvious elderly problem.

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You’ve probably noticed that the debate swirling around the president’s recovery bill has reached new levels of mortal terror and chaos. Even a casual excursion around the liberal tubes and you’ll find posts that read like the worst parts of the Bible. There’s a palpable vibe in many progressive circles that the president is on the brink of an epic fail.

After all, this is one of those do-or-die moments in American history and the panic level is rightly proportional.

But while urgency is appropriate, we’re losing the initiative.

We all have our own ideas about what the recovery bill is supposed to look like. The Republicans are threatening to filibuster, and we can’t trust Harry Reid to stop them. Rush Limbaugh, the very serious leader of the Republican Party and alleged sex tourist, has ordered his dittoheads to blitz the Democrats with angry phone calls. Concurrently, Democrats, liberals and progressives, for all we’ve learned in the last eight years, are losing the framing battle — “stimulus package” sounds like a weird service offered at a porn store and, in that context, a trillion dollar “stimulus package” sounds, you know, painful. Meanwhile, centrist Democrats like Ben Nelson appear to be ransacking the bill. Other Democrats have bugged out of Washington entirely.

We’re looking at fire and brimstone coming down from the skies. Forty years of darkness. The dead rising from the grave! Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!

Come to think of it, some of that Ghostbusters stuff might actually come true if a beefy and expensive recovery bill isn’t passed, and right soon.

So how do we get there?

The first step in getting a handle on all of this mayhem is to understand that this is unprecedented in terms of size, scope and strategy — only rivaled by the New Deal. Then again, for all of the obstacles he faced, FDR didn’t have to negotiate his way through cable news, a hostile press, far-right talk radio, the blogotubes and an army of dittoheads taking their orders from an impotent burnout whose stated goal is the failure of the economy. In other words, while there are very smart economic solutions being pitched by Paul Krugman and others, the price tag, politics, optics, media and discourse are all brand new.

This is massive, this is complicated, this is unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

(more…)

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Top Democrat: Bush the worst president we ever had

RAW STORY
Published: Monday January 5, 2009

With President Bush all but departed, the Senate’s top Democrat has leveled the strongest criticism of President George W. Bush to date.

“I really do believe President Bush is the worst president we’ve ever had,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday.

Asked why he felt Bush was the worst commander-in-chief the US has ever had, Reid pointed to Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security and asserted that Bush “has done his very best to destroy Medicare.”

Asked by David Gregory if he had any regrets about his persistent criticism of Bush, Reid responded, “I am who I am.”

“I think you just have to call things the way you see them,” he added.

This video is from NBC’s Meet the Press, broadcast Jan. 4, 2008.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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