President Barack Obama may be fond of distracting from his own failures by complaining about Congress, but his allies in the Senate can’t be very happy with the added scrutiny.
Democrats control the Senate, and their leaders have brought “the world's greatest deliberative body” to a near standstill. Thanks to Democrats’ obstruction, true consideration of legislation is now a thing of the past, and they’re making history for all the wrong reasons.
While Senate Democratic leaders have cracked down on anything that even remotely resembles real progress, the House has done just the opposite under Speaker Boehner’s leadership – resulting in dozens of bipartisan jobs bills collecting dust on Senator Reid’s desk.
Now, the do-nothing Senate is drawing criticism:
- “Senate Democrats proposed 676 amendments in the last year but were allowed votes on all of seven. Republicans proposed 812 and got votes on 11. Texas Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee has been allowed twice as many amendment votes (15) in the Republican House in the last year than Mr. Reid has allowed his entire Senate caucus.” (The Wall Street Journal)
- “While the House continues to churn through its share of annual spending bills for the federal government, the Senate is mired in a procedural standoff[.] … Rather than using the 10-day recess for the Independence Day holiday to reach a deal with McConnell, Reid on Monday escalated the fight…” (The Washington Post)
- “The atmosphere in the Senate has soured due to Senator Reid’s stranglehold on the legislative process. It has been made worse by his failure to keep his repeated — and very specific — promise to follow the Senate’s rules.” (National Review)
- “Reid has clamped down on the traditional right of freewheeling debate and amendment.” (Associated Press)
- “[Senate Democrats’] leaders are going to remarkable lengths to protect endangered Democrats from casting tough votes and to deny Republicans legislative victories in the midst of the campaign. … The Senate's masters of process are finding a variety of ways to shut down debate.” (Associated Press)
- “[T]he majority leader is now facing growing pressure from fellow Democrats agitating over the lack of votes on amendments, a central aspect of legislating in the Senate. … Since joining the Senate in January 2013, the 12 freshmen Democrats have not had a single vote on the floor on any amendment bearing any of their names as the lead sponsor. … ‘I got more substance on the floor of the House in the minority than I have as a member of the Senate majority,’ said [Chris] Murphy [(D-CT).]” (Politico)
- “U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. … took the bill off the agenda of the Senate Judiciary Committee he chairs just as the measure appeared to be nearing a vote. … Leahy said he was essentially forced to drop the bill by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.” (Burlington Free Press) (More on this here.)
- “‘I’ve never been in a less productive time in my life than I am right now, in the United States Senate,’ Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who has not received roll-call vote on an amendment since June of last year, told Time magazine last week.” (The Hill)
If Senate Democratic leaders are shirking their real responsibilities so much, just how are they spending their time, exactly? Oh, that’s right:
- “In a year during which little of consequence is being done in the Senate, hardly a week goes by in which Reid doesn’t take to the floor to attack the Kochs’ influence in politics. Since late January, Reid has mentioned the Kochs in 22 separate floor speeches, calling them out about 250 times...” (Politico)
While Republicans have made the American people’s priorities our priorities, Senate Democrats are obsessed and focused solely on what Politico describes as “a highly unusual election-year campaign against a couple of relatively unknown private citizens.” The contrast couldn’t be any more stark.