The single word that can best describe Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) this week is “pathetic.” Pathetic because Senator Reid doesn’t care about ensuring that the Senate adheres to the will of the American people.

In the House of Representatives, the House and held a straight yea/nea vote on the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.” The House passed the bill with a vote of 245 YEA to 189 NEA. A majority of the American people supported the repeal of healthcare reform (also known as Obamacare), so it made sense that the House would take up the issue, hold a direct vote on it, and voted with the will of the people.

In the Senate, however, Senator Reid says that he won’t allow a straight yea/nea vote on the bill, effectively killing it. Given that the Democrats have majority control of the Senate (51 votes) and the two independents in the Senate to lean left, many would wonder why Senator Reid is afraid to allow a straight yea/nea vote. It’s because Senator Reid is a weak leader, and many moderate Democrats will follow the will of their constituents instead of that of Senator Reid and President Obama. If all Republicans in the Senate voted in favor of repealing Obamacare, only four Democrats or independents would need to join them to pass the repeal. With some Democrats having campaigned on promises to support the elimination of some parts of Obamacare, and other looking at 2012 races in districts with a large number of independents and/or conservatives, it is very likely that Obamacare repeal could actually pass in the Senate.  Senator Reid doesn’t want that to happen, so he simply will use procedural tactics to stop a legitimate vote on the issue and prevent the will of the American people from being followed in the Senate.

Senator Reid is even more pathetic because he is playing a role as President Obama’s protector. If the American people, the House, and the Senate all supported Obamacare repeal, President Obama would be forced to either sign the bill or veto it. If he vetoed the bill, which is the most likely outcome, then the President would be in a very bad position going into the next election, having blatantly and directly ignored the will of the American people and disregarded the votes of both houses of Congress. By preventing a bill from reaching President Obama’s desk, Senator Reid is protecting the President at the expense of the American people who deserve the opportunity to have the Senators they sent to Washington actually vote on legislation that matters to them.

Originally posted at http://onthereport.blogspot.com/2011/01/pathetic.html