Harry Reid has a time management problem
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has created a traffic jam. After failing to pass a budget or separate appropriations bills this year, Reid dumped a mammoth omnibus spending bill in the laps of his colleagues, who already have the tax agreement, the START Treaty, don't ask, don't tell, and the DREAM Act to consider. If he were still receiving report cards, his would certainly read, "Does not manage time well."
But there is a method to this mad rush. If everything must be jammed through, nothing is given adequate consideration. So, for example, Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) are struggling to clarify what the START Treaty actually means. It doesn't help that the administration has not provided them with the negotiating record. So they are haggling with the administration to get agreement on weapons modernization and clarification on missile defense, which the administration claims should not be impacted by the treaty.
The Wall Street Journal editorial board has a fine suggestion:
Congress does have to fund the government, but it can do that with a simple continuing resolution that maintains the status quo for three months or so until the next Congress gets up and running. The catch is that this would mean no earmarks, and no riders for this or that special interest that Members on the Appropriations Committee can write into a formal spending bill. . . .
This rushed, non-transparent, all-about-the-Members brand of legislating is precisely what voters rebelled against a month ago. Senate Republicans have the power to stop this railroad exercise if they stick together and insist that the Senate do its business the right way. Pass the tax bill, fund the government into the New Year, and go home for the holidays.
Will Russian "reset" cheerleaders, gay activists, and Hispanic groups feel aggrieved? If so, they should take it up with the Democratic House and Senate leaders who had two years to get their business done. And if White House officials are likewise miffed that Obama may be deprived, at least temporarily, of a rare "win" on foreign policy, then they, too, have only themselves and their congressional allies to blame. Obama spent a great deal of time on agenda items that the public didn't want -- cap-and-trade and Obamacare, to name two -- and now he finds it hard to complete legislation his supporters are demanding. Maybe in the next two years he'll be better organized and figure out how to align his priorities with the voters'. His second term may depend on it.
| December 15, 2010; 9:42 AM ET
Categories: Obama White House, Senate Democrats
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Posted by: battleground51 | December 15, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse
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