Skip to comments.Unemployment Benefits talks stall after Reid locks out Republican changes
Posted on 01/10/2014 8:04:59 AM PST by SeekAndFind
The Senate left town in frustration after once-promising talks on compromise over an extension to unemployment benefits collapsed. Harry Reid had managed to get six Republicans to vote for a debate over the bill, but when he locked Republicans out from being able to offer amendments, his fragile coalition fell apart:
But hopes for a breakthrough were dashed when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) offered up a mostly Democratic-driven plan that would cover the $18 billion cost of extending the federal benefits through November.
Senate Republicans were further incensed when Reid told them he would not allow any amendments to the plan.
I have been waiting here for more than 24 hours for a reasonable proposal by my Republican friends to pay for this. We dont have one yet,” Reid said on the floor.
Republicans lashed out at Reid, arguing that they had put ideas forward and that all they wanted to do was sit down and work out a bipartisan agreement.
The move came at an odd time, since Democrats have demanded action from the GOP on an extension to these benefits, which expired in December. When enough Republicans voted to allow debate, the opportunity to pass an extension seemed at hand, which would have given Democrats some credit for driving to a solution. Instead, Reid pulled a stunt that has become the norm during his tenure as Senate Majority Leader, called “filling the amendment tree,” which leave Republicans no opportunity to offer any changes for a vote.
Needless to say, GOP leadership and rank and file called foul:
What was shaping up to be a humdrum day on Capitol Hill turned into a firestorm as Majority Leader Harry Reid proposed his own plan to extend unemployment benefits and effectively blocked Republicans from having further say in the matter.
After several days of debate over how to pass a three-month extension of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, Reid side-stepped negotiations with Republicans and offered a plan of his own to extend benefits through mid-November. In doing so he used a procedural tactic known as filling the tree to block Republicans from proposing any further amendments.
When Reid said at a Thursday afternoon press conference he was cautiously optimistic, that a long-term deal would soon be announced, what he came up with isnt what Republicans had in mind.
Sen. Reid announced today that he will obstruct ALL [sic] Republican amendments, Don Stewart, a spokesman for Mitch McConnell, told BuzzFeed in an email. Its a real challenge to find a bipartisan accomplishment when one person shuts out the entire side of the aisle.
This is crassly political, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said. They want to have something to talk about on the Sunday morning programs.
Make no mistake about it: Harry Reid blew up any momentum that had developed on this bill. The act of blocking amendments is the main reason that Republicans have to resort to cloture fights, in order to get Reid to stop blocking minority input on legislation. It’s the flip side of the filibuster fight, one that the media doesn’t cover nearly as much as it does with the supposed abuse of the filibuster itself.
Corker is absolutely right — this move is nothing but crassly political. Any amendments filed would still have to pass on a floor vote, so if they are too radical for Democrats, they won’t fly anyway. Why block them at all, then? In this case, Reid doesn’t want this issue to get resolved, because Democrats want to use it all year long in the run-up to the midterm elections. They are scared to death of what ObamaCare means for Senate control, and the surprise vote that allowed debate on the UI bill must have stunned Reid into thinking one of his alternate issues might end up defused long before they needed it to cast the GOP as uncaring about the chronically unemployed.
The question Republicans should ask is this: what is Harry Reid afraid of in potential Republican amendments? That they might actually carry some Democrats, and demonstrate that Reid is an extremist?
and Reid will assert that the fault is all on the Republicans
When are the Republicans going to learn that the Democrats are not to be compromised with
How many times must these guys play Charlie Brown to Reids Lucy?
Heartless Republicans don’t care that unemployed Americans are on the brink of starvation and homelessness under Obama’s failed economic policies.
The only moral thing to do is to fall in line and give Obama the bill he demands on this, obviously.
RE: Harry Reid had managed to get six Republicans to vote for a debate over the bill...
Indiana GOP Sen. Dan Coats provided the crucial 60th vote to block a Republican filibuster on the extension. Five other Republicans, Sens. Dean Heller (NV), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Kelly Ayotte (NH), Rob Portman (OH) and Susan Collins (ME) also supported the Democrat cloture vote. The measure will likely receive a final vote later this week.
This is one of those cases where the dems don’t want to pass anything, because they’d rather have the issue to attack the republicans with. They’ll do it to good effect too, while the republicans do as they always do.... Bend over and take it.
This will be reported as another unwillingness by the GOP to do what is right for the average working person. If we had a true independent press the Dems would be excoriated over this type of stuff. But when the press is the house organ for one party that party can do or say anything and it will be reported in that party’s most favorable light.
This is all about a talking point for the Sunday talk shows. Be prepared for every single Dem to be on point that the Senate Republicans balked at passing the extension to the detriment of millions, and that the GOP House leadership won’t even bring it up for a vote.
Let’s see, “Even with unemployment dropping to a new low of 6.7%, there are still millions who need their unemployment check to get themselves through their own personal time of crisis. Just as the GOP has done nothing to help the president get a handle on the worst economic crisis in history, now they are unwilling to lift a finger to help millions of American families suffering due to their obstinate stand on working with the president to pass bills to get the economy going again.” Did I miss anything?
Why would Reid do otherwise? He saw the way they threw Ted Cruz under the bus back in October.
The longer this phony crisis can be carried on, the less the focus will be on ObaMaoCare.
Reid may be a smarmy prick, but he ain't stupid. Wish I could say the same about the Juan McCain caucus.
Before voting for cloture they could have insisted they be allowed to offer amendments.
But they didn’t.
They knew this would happen, so they got what they wanted.
WHERE is John McCain Now!!! He can’t find a camera fast enough most times. He should be EVERYWHERE calling this POS(REID) out. He should be indignant and angry. But No, he can only attack his own party and go after Cruz and Lee.
McCain is the biggest TURD in DC.
Here’s an idea. The Republicans pick a date a few months down the road. It’s a day when welfare benefits are paid. The Republicans buy up every second of advertising on the radio and tv and every inch of advertising in the newspapers for a week after that day. They are buying bulk and in advance, so they should get good rates. Then, they shut welfare down completely. The welfare voters finally notice that something is wrong. They turn on their TVs and radios to find out what happened to their money. For a solid week, all they hear is how it’s the Democrat’s fault. Hey, it’s an idea to get to them.
It seems he already has.
I can’t say what I think
Certainly one of the biggest. But the competition for being the biggest is pretty intense.
Makes it pretty clear Reid is protecting the Dems’ lock on the Hispanic vote.
But Ayotte could have gotten an agreement to allow amendments into the cloture vote.
Since Harry’s way makes the most money for the media (increases consumer spending) he’ll win the PR war.