On Friday, Bulwark senior editor Jim Swift ridiculed several Republican U.S. senators over their showboating and shenanigans during the infrastructure negotiations -- say they walked away with a handful of nothing while the Senate Democrats "played them."
As Swift notes, during late-night negotiations several GOP lawmakers fought to add red meat amendments that they can use in future campaign ads and the Democrats let them because they were either toothless or lacked enforcement provisions.
Case in point: Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR).
After writing, "Republicans in Congress—both because they are in the minority and because the party cares more about culture war these days than about policy—have been less focused on legislating and more focused on turning any hearing or debate into a circus. That showed on Tuesday night, as Democrats pushed through both an infrastructure bill and a budget resolution, and Republicans attempted stunt after stunt.," he explained that Cotton "got a meaningless amendment passed that established a 'a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to prohibiting the teaching of critical race theory in prekindergarten programs and elementary and secondary schools.'"
As Swift notes "deficit-neutral reserve fund(s)," are "...completely inconsequential amendments offered as a way to discuss budget-irrelevant topics without violating budget reconciliation rules around what you can and can't include in a budget resolution."
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) fared even worse when he tried to paint the Democrats as anti-police with an amendment that he thought they would oppose -- but instead embraced with only a few exceptions.
"Another GOP failure came from Missouri's Josh Hawley, who proposed a DNRF 'relating to hiring 100,000 new police officers nationwide to combat the crime wave in the United States.' Where did Hawley mess up? The Community Oriented Policing Services or COPS program was started by . . . wait for it . . . Joe Biden," Swift wrote before adding, "Hawley's amendment passed with 95 votes. (Bernie Sanders, Mike Lee, and Pat Toomey all voted no.)"
Noting other proposals from Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and R Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) that did nothing but put their colleagues in awkward positions, Swift explained, "The GOP is locked in for 2022. They're not trying to appeal to the voters they lost in 2020 (like me). The party is now entirely a service-the-base operation. Whether it will work for them is anyone's guess, but many Republican officeholders prefer owning the libs to actually governing. Too bad for them that they're not even very good at owning the libs."
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