What can possibly possess Senate Democrats to do something so irresponsible considering President “No Boots On The Ground In Syria” Obama is planning to put boots on the ground in Syria? He’s also changing his tune Iraq and Afghanistan troop numbers and how long they will stay. For the third time, Senate Democrats have blocked a defense spending bill.
The worst part is, the Democrats are not blocking this over some “poison pill”:
Democrats blocked a defense spending bill for a third time on Thursday as they pushed for a deal on how to move funding legislation through the Senate.
Senators voted 51-44 in a procedural vote on taking up the $579 billion House-passed bill. Sixty votes were needed to move forward.
Democrats previously blocked the legislation in June and September while demanding a budget accord. [mc_name name=’Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’D000607′ ] (Ind.) was the only Democrat to vote for the legislation on Thursday.
Top Democrats this week sent strong signals that they would block the legislation over concerns that moving a stand-alone defense bill would allow Republicans to renege on a two-year budget agreement.
Republicans denied any intention to go back on the budget deal and slammed Democrats as obstructionist.
From a purely political standpoint, this should be an easy win for Republicans. The Democrats who refused to pass budget resolutions for years and made Congress a world of continuing resolutions are hilariously “concerned” about Republicans reneging on a two year budget deal.
That said, responses from Senate Republicans, was predictably tepid:
“I’m saying don’t go there because you’re going to set in motion an irreversible course in this Senate, and I’m going to lead it,” [mc_name name=’Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’A000360′ ] (R-Tenn.) said, adding that “we have the majority and you don’t. So if you want to play that kind of game, we can play that game too.”
Moderate Republican [mc_name name=’Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001035′ ] (Maine) added on Thursday morning that she is “truly perplexed” that Democrats are saying “there is a Republican plan to enact only the defense appropriations bill and then proceed to a continuing resolution for all of the other appropriations bills.”
Lamar Alexander was a step away from saying, “I’m telling my Dad!” and Susan Collins is “perplexed.”
And then there was the Senate Majority Leader. Surely he would have strong words, no?
Majority Leader [mc_name name=’Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000355′ ] (R-Ky.) tried to reassure Democrats on Wednesday evening, saying that Republicans “have every intention of then moving on to other appropriations bills.”
“Our members worked very hard on those bills. Nearly all of the appropriations measures passed committee with support from both parties. We obviously want to process them all,” he said.
Democrats are holding up a defense spending bill and McConnell is looking to “reassure” them. That’s terrific.
[mc_name name=’Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000146′ ] during his time as Majority Leader, took to the Senate floor to call Mitt Romney a tax cheat as well as call Charles and David Koch “un-American.” Reid along with other Democrats are blocking a defense bill and the best McConnell can do is “reassure” Democrats?
There are times when [mc_name name=’Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000303′ ] speaks up and this is one of those times:
“For the third time this year, Senate Democrats have blocked vital legislation to give the men and women in our military the funding they need to defend the nation. Even after a bipartisan budget deal was passed and signed, Senate Democrats still can’t say yes to our troops. It seems Senate Democrats always find an excuse not to support funding our national defense. There is always some negotiating stance to defend, some procedural quibble to make, some domestic spending priority that is more important. Senate Democrats’ treatment of our national defense as little more than political leverage has become disturbingly routine, and it’s a shameful departure from the bipartisan tradition of providing for the common defense.”
Thank you, Senator. The problem is, there needs to be this kind of talk from Senate (and House) leadership.
It’s time for Senate Majority McConnell and Speaker of The House [mc_name name=’Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’R000570′ ] to take a stand.