Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has an “addiction”, according to Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts.
“Practically every morning, our Leader starts our session by giving a speech personally attacking David and Charles Koch and their families,” said Roberts on the Senate floor Wednesday.
By last count, Reid has mentioned the Koch brothers — billionaires who fund numerous conservative causes and other philanthropies — 134 times on the Senate floor.
“The problem with addiction, of course, is that as a tolerance develops, more and more of the drug is needed to satisfy the craving,” said Roberts.
Reid has ramped up the frequency of his attacks against the Kochs in recent months.
In February, he called the duo “un-American” because of their political spending. And earlier this month, Reid said that the Koch brothers are “one of the main causes” of climate change, though the comment was debunked.
“Maybe the Kochs are to blame for planes lost in the Bermuda Triangle; how about the volcanic eruption at Pompeii years back,” Roberts joked, adding that the Koch family may even be responsible for “the futility of the Chicago Cubs.”
In his floor speech, Roberts pointed to what he called Democrats’ hypocrisy over an anti-Koch film “Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014” which was previewed Tuesday at the U.S. Capitol visitor center.
Reid and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi attended the meeting where Reid lamented the Koch’s “tentacles” acting to stifle the event.
But Roberts called the viewing ironic given the history of Citizens United, the landmark Supreme Court which prohibits the government from limiting corporate and union spending on political ads and other tools used to influence elections.
The high court sided with Citizens United, a conservative non-profit, 5-4.
Reid has said he wants to pass a Constitutional amendment to reverse the 2010 decision and prevent the Koch brothers from influencing political campaigns.
“The irony of promoting a film to advance their campaign to restrict speech is apparently lost on the majority,” said Roberts who pointed to “Hillary: The Movie” which was produced by the group Citizens United and set the stage for its Supreme Court battle.
“It doesn’t matter which film a majority in Congress might prefer,” said Roberts. “The producers have the right to make and distribute either one, and they can raise the money necessary to do so as they see fit, not subject to restrictions or limitations imposed by the Congress.”
“The majority claims they are concerned about wealthy donors. They are not. They are concerned about wealthy conservative donors,” said Roberts, pointing to Tom Steyer, a billionaire former hedge fund manager who has said he intends to spend over $100 million dollars supporting Democrats in the mid-term elections.