Senate Majority Leader Harry Reed (D-NV) may have finally gotten his fill of Republican obstructionism. In his soft-spoken way, he might even be described as absolutely furious over the refusal of Senate Republicans to pass a completely non-controversial reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank on the grounds that they wanted time to offer amendments.
“The bill that the House passed reflects a negotiated agreement that was struck between Democratic and Republican leaders,” Reid stated in a speech on Thursday evening. “They worked hard to come up with an agreement. As one would expect with an agreement of that nature, the House passed it with a very strong vote. The vote was 330 to 93. … Only the far right Tea Party wing of the House Republican conference voted against the bill.”
“It’s so unusual here,” Reid continued. “I have been here in Congress thirty years, but this is a new one. Even bills that they agree on, they want to mess around with. In years past, this would have gone through here just like this [snapping his fingers]. … The House passed something 330 to 93, and we’re here playing around with it? It should be done. We should have passed it yesterday. This thing is going to expire.”
“It’s hard to comprehend what the new mantra of the Republicans in the Senate, what it is,” he added. “I don’t get it.”
Reid pointed out that the Export-Import Bank is about to hits its lending limit and in any case has to be reauthorized by the end of May — but if the bill is amended in the Senate it will have to go back to the House, which is barely in session all this month. He also stated that he had glanced at the proposed amendments and that several of them seemed designed to gut or even eliminate the program.
Reid expressed regret that he had not supported a proposed change to the filibuster rule in January 2011, but had instead entered into a “gentleman’s agreement” with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to keep it intact.
“This is just absolutely mindless, what’s going on,” he concluded.
As the Huffington Post notes, it would take a two-thirds vote of the Senate to change the filibuster rule now. If Reid is serious, however, his best opportunity may come next January, since at the start of each new session of Congress it is possible to alter rules with a simple majority vote.
This video from CSPAN-2 was uploaded to YouTube by HuffPostPolitics on May 10, 2012.
‘We’re barreling towards economic devastation’: Robert Reich worries ‘government is nowhere to be found’
With the United States Senate on vacation and no efforts currently advancing to provide further COVID-19 stimulus, economist Robert Reich warned of the stakes on Wednesday.
Reich, who served as Secretary of Labor during the Clinton administration, listed three troubling economic facts.
"Temporary eviction moratoriums are set to expire in half of the states. One-fifth of Americans missed rent payments this month. Unemployment benefits are set to expire in two months," he noted.
"We're barreling towards economic devastation and the government is nowhere to be found," Reich warned.
Minnesota governor: the George Floyd video makes me ‘physically ill’
In a public address on Wednesday, Gov. Tim Walz (D-MN) condemned the police killing of George Floyd, saying that the video of the officer kneeling on Floyd's neck made him "physically ill" and that he was “shocked and horrified” by what he saw.
"George Floyd did not deserve to die," said Walz. "But he does deserve justice."
The killing has triggered outrage and protests in Minneapolis, with police clashing with demonstrators on Tuesday and dispersing chemical agents into the crowd. All of the officers involved in the incident were terminated immediately. It is unclear whether or how many of them will be criminally charged for the death.
Colorado GOP lawmaker rages against pandemic bill: ‘I go to Walmart and I don’t wipe down that cart’
Colorado state Sen. Vicki Marble (R) on Wednesday lashed out against a pandemic safety bill that would allow legislators to participate remotely.
In a speech on the Colorado Senate floor, Marble explained that she is opposing the measure even though health conditions prevent her from wearing a mask.
"To be an elected representative of the people means making sacrifices, huge sacrifices," Marble opined. "I feel that over the last 10 weeks our representative government has been shoved to the wayside and it's more of a dictatorship -- but it's for the safety of the people so we let it go."