Harry Reid takes care of special interests
You might be wondering how the Senate is passing its time. Well, no votes are scheduled today. Tomorrow, and possibly Wednesday, will be taken up by the impeachment trial of a liberal federal judge. So where does this leave important stuff, like taxes? And if the administration is so insistent on getting a START ratification vote in, when is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid going to get that done?
An aide to a Republican leader tells me that Reid told Republicans on Saturday that he intends to file cloture Tuesday (likely to set up Wednesday votes) on four bills: one dealing with compensating Sept. 11 rescuers, one giving collective bargaining rights to police and firefighters in right-to-work states (what the aide terms, "a union giveaway"), the latest version of the DREAM Act, and a bill to cut $250 checks to seniors as a one-time cost-of-living raise. It is a virtual buffet for special interest groups. What's interesting about the timing of the votes, the aide says, is that "if you schedule multiple cloture votes at once, you're signaling you're not interested or not serious in getting on all but one of the bills."
One thing to keep in mind: All 42 Republican senators have vowed to filibuster any bill before government funding and taxes are addressed. As the aide put it: "Taxes and government funding still aren't resolved, so any of those other matters aren't the priorities that all 42 Republicans said the Senate should be focusing on." So perhaps Reid is only going through the motions and just cares about putting on a show to check off his campaign promises. You think his special interest group friends will catch on?
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