Politics

Why the Senate keeps holding votes on bills everyone knows will not pass

Photo of Chris Moody
Chris Moody
Contributor

Refusing to give into the Republicans’ terms for the lame-duck session, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is working to score a few last minute political points against the GOP before holding a vote on the Bush-era tax rate extension, and he’s doing a very good job of it.

Reid brought a bill to the floor Thursday that would provide $7.4 billion in medical services to first responders who suffer ailments from their rescue efforts after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Republicans, keeping with their vow to filibuster any legislation until the tax cut deal is in place and the government is securely funded into the next year, blocked it.

It’s just the latest example of the majority leadership’s decision to hold cloture votes they know will not pass, which gives Democrats fuel to blast the GOP for seemingly standing in the way of perfectly uncontroversial bills.

The vote on health care for firefighters prompted Reid to release a statement moments later entitled, “Republicans putting CEOS ahead of 9/11 as heroes speaks volumes about their priorities.”

“Republicans denied adequate health care to the heroes who developed illnesses from rushing into burning buildings on 9/11,” Reid said in the statement. “Yet they will stop at nothing to give tax breaks to millionaires and CEOs, even though they will explode our deficit and fail to create jobs. That tells you everything you need to know about their priorities.”

New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez called Republicans “Shameless!” on the Senate floor, which made the headline of an ABC News report about the vote.

See how that works?

Last weekend, Reid called the Senate to a special Saturday session to hold two votes: one that would extend the Bush-era tax rates for households earning less than $250,000 annually and another that lifted the threshold to $1 million. As expected, both failed.

The move puts the Senate not an inch closer to stopping the impending tax hikes, but now Republicans are on the record voting against health care for 9/11 victims and tax cuts for the middle class.

Those who do not obsessively follow political news, which includes most Americans, will be shocked.

Those who do have a finger on the Beltway’s pulse, however, know all too well this is just another day in Washington.

Email Chris Moody and follow him on Twitter

  • snappercat

    Maybe Reid didn’t factor in the democrat senators up for reelection in two years. I am paying attention to Senator Casey’s (PA) votes and do not like what I see; he doesn’t read bills before voting (frankly, he doesn’t even have his phones answered – just answering machines, usually full, in his multiple offices) and doesn’t read analyses on the last election – but if he doesn’t change his tune he’ll have to read the pink slip coming from the voters.

  • Swen

    So Reid wants to play games to score cheap political points, while risking letting taxes go up for everyone, unemployment insurance run out for thousands, and possibly even letting the government shut down for lack of funds? That is indeed shameless.

    See how that works?

  • ladylove

    this is just a game to them, and only a game, they do not care how it affects WE THE PEOPLE.

    when is the next round of firings, not for 2 years. too long, wish we could fire them all now, and start all over.

  • John

    Reid is just trying as hard as he can, because he aware his time is coming to a close.

    Conservatives just have to be patient for a few weeks and then the demolition crew can come in and get to work rebuilding.

    So long as the Republicans stay true to their word.

    And hopefully the Tea Party Patriots will keep the Repulicans feet to the fire.

    • flips

      Reid’s time is not “coming to a close.”

      He just got re-elected for another 6 years.

      Thanks Sharon Angle!

      • johnanderson

        I’m pretty sure he meant that in 2 years, Reid will be the Senate MINORITY Leader, and will be sitting in the corner with a dunce cap on his head, just like Nancy Pelosi come January.

  • fourleafclover

    Why did Nevada re-elect this stupid man? He is the worst of the worst. The casinos backed him so they can get the law changed to allow online betting in the US. Reid has already worked on that.

    I will never spend a dime in a Las Vegas casino due to their backing Reid. I’ve been talking to friends and relatives about the casinos helping get Reid re-elected and a lot of them are going to stay away too. It’s the only way I have to show my disgust with Reid and his casino buddies.

    • flips

      He won his hopeless election because the teabaggers backed a lunatic that had no chance in the general election of mostly sane people.

      Here’s another example of why voting for teabaggers is bad for jobs.
      http://www.sacbee.com/2010/12/09/v-print/3245637/wis-ohio-high-speed-rail-money.html

      • John

        flips are you mental?

        You have no clue of what is taking place in this country right now.

        Come on, gets some brains will you?

        • flips

          Just because Foxnews tells you that Americans love the right wing, that doesn’t make it true.

          Wait until the census figures come out.

          This could be the very last stand of the far right in the USA for quite a long time. Demographics will doom a party that is mostly old, white and southern.

          • ManintheStreet

            Yeah, “Get a BRAIN, MORANS!”

          • r37890

            Yeah…Texas getting 5 or 6 new congressmen will really show those right wingers! LOL

      • The_anniebanannie

        You continue to show your ignorance and we’ll continue to educate you. Did you even read the article you quoted? Building a high-speed rail train just to spend money …. yep, that’s the democrats way! Don’t bother to look at the big picture and see that the states can’t afford to maintain it, or complete the project once the feds end their funding. What DO they do with the money? They give it to California to start MORE projects that they don’t have the money to finish….adding to the state’s bankrupt economy.

        • flips

          High speed rail projects help the USA catch up with Europe and China. HS rail is wonderful. Reduces car and airplane trips. Cleans up the air and makes the USA more competitive on the world stage.

          Have you ever set foot outside of the USA?
          Do you even have a passport?

          If you did, you would realize how far we are falling behind the rest of the world and how much we need to invest in our domestic infrastructure.

          If the wingers in the midwest don’t want these jobs and investment, we are glad to take it here in California. Today, we just got another $600+ million for our statewide project. Thanks idiot midwest teabaggers. You had your chance.

          • The_anniebanannie

            “we are glad to take it here in California.”

            That’s the problem in California — you take, but you never give anything back. That’s why California is bankrupt, it’s full of lazy jerks like you.

          • flips

            The thousands of workers ready to build, and already working on the project in California are certainly not “lazy.”

            Here is the new HS rail station in San Francisco that recently broke ground. http://vimeo.com/2489687

          • r37890

            Except that the federal funds don’t pay for all of that high-speed rail do they? California will still have to come up with the funds to finish. And since ya’ll in a budget shortfall right now, you’ll have to give up something else to complete the project. Either that or raise taxes again.

      • erick1740

        Hs rail is a monumental waste of money, if you like it so much, mover overseas.

  • DANIEL CABRERA

    Actually the real serious question – about any kind of vote – to be answer is this one;- HOW THE BLAZES THIS MAN – MR REID – GOT RE-ELECTED?

    FRAUDULENT VOTING (as for the 2008 presidential elections case)should be something to look into…..but it seems that nobody want to do that….perhaps fear is around,…and investigators are disencouraged.

    Inflamatory?….incendiary?….provocative?…just walk with me;

    What follows is all over the NET in many blogs, sites,… everywhere,… including is sent to ‘WASHIGTON KINGDOM’,meaning, WHITE HOUSE, CONGRESS, SENATE,…aslo to radio talk-shows, tv and cable news networks…even the tv tabloids (MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS…and the rest)
    ==============
    THE HARRY REID VICTORY…Is that so?

    http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/nov/02/nv-nevada-secretary-of-state/
    ———————————

    Did anyone noticed?

    The night of the mid-term elections,… while Ms Kelly was looking at her computer screen, she said;- (paraphrasing)…”….there is a power outage so there will be a delay on the info on the voting….wait….machines are coming back…now…”

    If anyone out there, has taped in VHS or DISC the whole FOX programming will definitely find that segement,… and at that time RIED WAS NOT IN THE LEAD ….NOT BY A LONG SHOT!

    I submit to all of you out there that was a premeditated move to alterate (in a fraction of time) the results…and so today REID IS A WINNER.

    It takes but just a nano-second to ‘implant information ‘ in any computer grid in a ‘reboot process’…..anyone knows that.

    In others words, this REID VICTORY IS JUST BUT FRAUD!…..just like the ongoing FRAUDULENT PRACTICES PERPETUATED ON BY THIS INSIDIOUS BAND OF GANGSTER-STYLE POLITICIANS NOW IN WASHINGTON,….. BETTER KNOWN AS THE OBAMA GANG.

    Now, if anyone can just buy the so called ‘victory’ as a legtimate thing…very well your choice….however…as for me.accepting that, as TRUTH is just naive ,…at least, if I would acccept it I will be,…perhaps lack of intuition…or just plain stupid or idiotic….take a pick.

    To me the desperation, and panic is/ was so compelling that liberal-democrat factions used more of their usual low class tactics.

    Input anyone?

    Opinions welcome.

    Daniel Cabrera
    Merrillville,Indiana

  • flips

    Why on earth would the GOP be against medical care for the 9/11 heroes?

    Aren’t these the same people Bush stood on the smoking pile and demanded bin Laden “dead or alive” with.

    I guess these people are useful to Republicans only as props for a PR stunt. When it comes to actually helping them when they get sick, the GOP is nowhere to be found.

    Sickenening.

    • jonavark

      Why on earth would the GOP be against medical care for the 9/11 heroes?

      Why don’t you FIND OUT loser? Instead of just getting on an posting stupid, really stupid, posts.

    • The_anniebanannie

      There wouldn’t have been such legislation now if the democrats hadn’t voted against it 2 years ago.

      Stop being obtuse. It’s a waste of air.

    • John

      More nonsense flips?

      You don’t have a clue what’s going on, do you?

      They’re rhetorical question.

      Just because I know how smart you are.

    • ManintheStreet

      As everyone says, “Get a BRAIN, MORANS!”

  • diamndgirl

    He’s doing a very good job of this (Reid)…surely you jest!

    I’ve been watching all of this in the Senate, he isn’t doing a good job, he’s screwed..the msm can try to spin this, but it won’t spin- too many dems are furious too, all of this is and has been hilarious…Comedy Channel not needed, the dems are doing a fine job, along with the leftists talking-heads.

  • oldguy5

    Unfortunately Reid does not realize that the majority of people in the USA are cheering each time the GOP stops a vote.

    • GeniousIQ

      Not really. Most of us don’t live in the “good guys/bad guys” world of political viewpoints. Most of us want results. Politics is being poisoned today with people more worried about “winning” than solving problems.

      • jonavark

        No.. they’re stopping votes and bills they sincerely feel are wrong. That is ‘solving problems’

        Truth is.. most Americans, you included, probably have no idea what they actually stopped or voted against. Another truth.. many Americans have their hands out for the last few drops of Democratic handouts before it is too late. Thankfully we now have someone pushing against the liberal majority as they were hired to do.

        That’s how it works in DC.

        • GeniousIQ

          It’s just a new set of handouts coming in. Who is pushing the ethanol subsidy through? (hint: not dems). And a no vote means nothing. Both sides need to learn to act like grown ups and find ways to negotiate to solve problems. This ‘win at all costs’ Rovian mentality is poison.

          • The_anniebanannie

            “(hint: not dems). ”

            Really? You might want to tell Tom Harkin and Ben Nelson that. Everybody might scream about Grassley, but at least he has the balls to get up and state his position on it. The democrats just slither under the table and vote for it but don’t have the guts to back it up.

            “This ‘win at all costs’ Rovian mentality is poison.”

            Says the poster that earlier said they wanted results … as long as the results were the GOP caving in to Reid’s silly games. The ‘results at all costs’ GeniousIQ mentality is poison.

      • John

        Genious: wrong pick for a user name, you should have used dumber and dumbest.

        You must be a legend in your own mind, your not proving it hear.

        Jona and annie have a better arguments and a better understanding of what’s going on.