Because they can
With health care vote coming, Schumer plans procedural tactics to stop all Senate business
By News on the Net
—— Bio and Archives June 20, 2017Comments | Print This | Subscribe | Email UsI’ll give Democrats this:
Since they know the media will embrace their narratives, they’re very good at coming up with absurd narratives to cover for their own shameless obstructionism. Let Republicans pull crap like this against Obama, and they’re the “party of no” or racists or whatever. Democrats do it?Oh, it’s to “protest secrecy.”
I kid you not:Democrats plan to slow action on all Senate business, a move designed to protest their frustration with the GOP’s secretive efforts to pass legislation that would repeal and replace key parts of the Affordable Care Act. On Monday night, Democrats will “begin objecting to all unanimous consent requests,” according to a senior Senate Democratic aide.
The procedural tool will allow the minority party to block orders that are often used to speed up consideration of legislation and nominees.While Democrats lack the votes to stop Republicans from passing their health care bill, objecting to unanimous consent requests would mean roll-call votes are required for matters such as allowing any Senate committee of any kind to meet for more than two hours.
Senate Republicans have sought to minimize public disagreement with their measure by holding all health care discussions behind closed doors as Senate leaders race to craft a bill that could garner the 50 votes needed for passage. Some Senate Republicans have set an informal June 30 deadline to pass their version of the health care bill, leaving 10 legislative days to do so.“If Republicans won’t relent and debate their health care bill in the open for the American people to see, then they shouldn’t expect business as usual in the Senate,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement Monday. On the floor, Democrats plan to make several unanimous consent requests in an attempt to force Senate Republicans to hold a hearing on their health care overhaul, and Democratic senators plan to give floor speeches until late Monday that lambast Republicans for drafting their legislation in private.“Republicans are drafting this bill in secret because they’re ashamed of it, plain and simple,” Schumer said.This has nothing whatsoever to do with how the bill is being drafted.
The party that gave us HillaryCare doesn’t care about openness is legislating and never has. This is about one thing and one thing only, which is embarrassing the Republicans and trying anything and everything they can to stop the bill from passing the Senate.One of the tradeoffs of using reconciliation to pass a bill is that, while you don’t have to meet a 60-vote threshold to get to cloture, you do have to allow senators to offer unlimited amendments on the floor, and you have to vote on those amendments.
Democrats are going to take advantage of that rule by offering endless amendments – many of them completely absurd and irrelevant – solely for the purpose of gumming up the works. Continued below…Democrats are more entertaining when they’re desperate. We might as well relax and enjoy the showAnd it’s not just on the ObamaCare repeal vote either. They’re going to use this tactic to effectively bring business in the Senate to a halt until they either win or lose on this issue.
And why not?
The media will sing their praises by repeating the claim that they’re only doing it to protest that dastardly Republican secrecy. Their base will love it. And despite what Republican strategists would like to tell themselves, the public will not become indignant over it. The public doesn’t care about the machinations of Senate business, and won’t get its collective knickers in a twist if Democrats muck it up for a few days or a few weeks.Schumer knows the Democrats will pay no price for this. That’s why he’s doing it.
And yet, this might be a positive sign. If Schumer thought the bill was likely to fail in a simple floor vote, wouldn’t it make more sense for him to just sit back and let it happen? Then he could point to the humiliating Republican failure and rightly say he had nothing to do with it.Hey, we got out of the way and let them vote. They still couldn’t get a majority! What miserable failures!The fact that he’s resorting to this suggests to me that he thinks the GOP will cobble together a majority to pass something.
Now, whether it’s a something that really solves the problems created by ObamaCare is another question. But I don’t think Schumer would go to this much trouble to gum up the works if he thought the bill would likely fail on its own.Democrats are more entertaining when they’re desperate. We might as well relax and enjoy the show…………..