Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 18, 2010

GOP CONSIDERS BLOCKING JOBS BILL IT AGREES WITH.... Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) would, by all accounts, like to see the Senate take up a jobs bill when members return to the Hill on Monday. Senate Republicans intend to block Dems from even bringing the proposal to the floor for a debate, and Reid does not yet have the votes to stop them.

But the amazing part of this is that Republicans actually like what's in the modest jobs bill. GOP leadership aides met behind closed doors yesterday with more than 100 corporate lobbyists to discuss strategy, and according to Roll Call, Republicans are leaning on waffling members to block consideration of a stripped down, $15 billion jobs package for reasons that have nothing to do with its merits.

Given the divisions within the GOP Conference -- and the fact that Republicans have largely backed most of the bill's provisions in the past -- leadership aides told lobbyists that the GOP plans to attack Reid's bill over process, rather than policy.

More than 100 lobbyists representing the National Federation of Independent Business, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Business Roundtable and other associations attended the meeting with staff from the offices of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Republican Policy Committee Chairman John Thune (S.D.), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Grassley.

"The feeling is they aren't going to say anything in opposition to the bill, except to say it's incomplete," a lobbyist who attended the meeting said. "They are not opposed to the bill, they just believe their rights as the minority have been abridged."

The GOP's willingness to reject the ideas they support continues to be almost impressive in its scope.

Reid wants a clean bill and an efficient process, so he's pushing for a vote on a jobs bill with no amendments. Republicans have decided that Reid's approach hurts their feelings, so they'd rather play partisan games.

It's worth emphasizing that GOP opposition is not yet unanimous, so it's still possible to see some constructive movement on Monday. But like everything else in the Senate that Republicans broke, this is looking awfully ugly.

Steve Benen 10:30 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (18)

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It doesn't hurt their feelings, it hurts their attempts to destroy the US and blame it on Obama. Thankfully, Reid and the Dems will let them, and will get crushed in Nov.

Hope and change, baby!

Posted by: Dems lose huge in 2010 on February 18, 2010 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

Country First, my friends.

Posted by: John Sidney McCain III on February 18, 2010 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Hard to see why the Republicans should NOT obstruct when they pay no price. Is Reid going to force the issue, play hardball, get a lot of people on TV crying foul, and force the Republican Senators actually to vote against an "up or down vote on a jobs bill"? When do the Dems stop making all this so cheap for the Republicans?

Posted by: Theda Skocpol on February 18, 2010 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK


Each time the GOP uses it's "NO" one word response, the DEMs should use theirs: "Reconciliation"

It's short, sweet, and smacks of the same postering except that things will get done in spite of these dork-a-saurs.

Posted by: stevio on February 18, 2010 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK


Another one-word response. Force them to actually filibuster the bill. Let's see what their election prospects look like come November after they've held up all of the people's business for days/weeks/months by filibustering a jobs bill when we have 10% unemployment.

Posted by: Jennifer on February 18, 2010 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

A stripped down, gutted jobs bill? Hell, I'm against it too. $15 billion is nothing. This keeps happening. The Dems allow the minority party to gut the legislation to a point where the feckless bill passed does no good. The Repubs then crow how ineffective the Dem policies are. This is getting embarrassing and Reid should be ashamed.

Posted by: Bobo Teh Clown on February 18, 2010 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

It's really too bad most Senators are so old; it's really clear they've forgotten how to deal with children throwing tantrums.

While the GOP is stomping its feet and screaming about how unfair the Democrats are being and jumping up and down shrieking, it would be nice if there were some capable parents who knew that sometimes you just have to be the adult, and make the kid do what he's told.

Perhaps someone could get Harry Reid some episodes of Supernanny on DVD?

Posted by: biggerbox on February 18, 2010 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

One little phrase is all it takes:


If Dems can ever gather the gumption to stop worrying about the scary-thing GOPers and their legions of used, mildewy teabag camp-followers; to just say "To hell with it, let's do this thing!", it would turn the Party of No and turn them into the Party of Extinct. I mean, what do we have to do---give Kucinich a well-honed bayonet and let him clean house on these fools?

(...as if that would even happen...)

America cannot wait in the wings forever; this Party-of-No issue requires a once-and-for-all solution.

Posted by: S. Waybright on February 18, 2010 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

The Republicans met behind closed doors? With LOBBYISTS? To strategize? Why didn't they put that on C-Span? They are opposing a tax cut bill that isn't stuffed with pork? They don't want a clean bill? They can't take yes for an answer?

I'd really love to see them have to actually get up and defend opposing this bill. Of course it's incomplete, but Harry is doing with the jobs bill exactly what republicans wanted him to do with the healthcare bill: Pass the parts that everyone can agree to first.

Hopefully it will become clear before November that Republicans aren't serious about wanting to govern. The only thing they are serious about is hurting Democrats. If the entire country suffers for it, then oh well - collateral damage,

Posted by: atlliberal on February 18, 2010 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK
... [the GOP] just believe[s] their rights as the minority have been abridged.


Sweet Jesus H. Riverdancing Christ ... really?

Democrats have done EVERYTHING they can to appease the GOP. EVERYFUCKINGTHING. And have done so despite the fact the GOP whined for weeks on end about "up or down votes!" when they were in power (with an assist from the media, who happily repeated every claim).

::bangs head on desk::

I understand that getting rid of the filibuster is dangerous -- Republicans will, sadly, be in power again some day. But something has got to change.

It'd also help if Democrats could get their own shit together and expose this stuff at every possible turn. Yet they lack the spine and are afraid Broder may say something mean about how partisan they're being.

Posted by: Mark D on February 18, 2010 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

I agree with Bobo Teh Clown. It's a watered down, generic piece of lege...and for what? Be bold and resolute Dems!! Dems...oh sorry, what was I thinking?!

Posted by: whichwitch on February 18, 2010 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

We keep hearing out of Reid's office, and from Reid himself -- "it all depends on what the Republicans are going to do...."

We effing KNOW what the Republicans are going to do, for the love of Mike. The real question is: what are YOU going to do, Sen. Reid? That old canard about insanity is the performance of the same actions over and over while expecting a different result is beginning to come to mind. How many times must we "Groundhog Day" this same scenario:

1) Strong Democratic legislation is crafted in the House
2) Strong Democratic legislation is knee-capped by "conservative" Democrats in the Senate, but is still viable
4) Knee-capped legislation is dangled in front of Olympia Snowe/Susan Collins, who have wholeheartedly now gone over to the dark side, so WHY are their non-votes still being courted on a mandatory basis?
5) Knee-capped legislation stalls
6) Harry Reid says "We don't have the votes."
7) Question: What happens now?
8) Harry Reid's Answer: "We don't know what the Republicans are going to do."

Me: Who gives a toss?! I know what they're going to do - lie, stall, delay, kill the bill at all costs. What is the effing mystery?

When does this merry-go-round stop? Feeling very frustrated with Reid right now. Am longing to see a Dem Majority Leader who is a fire-breathing, bill-passing machine.

Posted by: June on February 18, 2010 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

How about a simple explanation from Reid why he killed the "bipartisan bill" - like, it is difficult to see what eliminating the estate tax had to do with creating jobs. He killed the bill for the right reasons, and he should explain why he did it.

Posted by: Scott F. on February 18, 2010 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

National Federation of Independent Business, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Business Roundtable


Are these lobbyists really representing the interests of their industries, or their rich owners? How could any of those organizations legitmately be against a jobs bill?

The Marxist subtext is rapidly becoming text.

Posted by: inkadu on February 18, 2010 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

At what point do we simply point the finger at Reid for denying the Reconciliation process? Is it not true, as much as the GOP is playing politics 24/7, the Democratic leadership is refusing Reconciliation simply in order to blame the GOP for lack of progress? Is that not politics 24/7 as well? Can anyone give a cogent argument against going full throttle under Reconciliation to pass any and all provisions across the board which can be won under those parameters? Anyone? It's not gutlessness which drives Reid, it's POLITICS.

Posted by: thomas on February 18, 2010 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

and the only place we'll ever hear about this is on lefty blogs -- no Dem would ever bring this up, over and over, on national tv, in op-ed pages, on the radio....that's just for Republicans, I guess.

Posted by: halle on February 18, 2010 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

This isn't amazing, Steve: it's the GOP plan. By blocking everything that Democrats like, it hopes to render helpless a sitting president and existing government. It is bloodless but real sabotage. Some, including me, think it treasonous in spirit if not law: ruinous to the U.S., unpatriotic, irresponsible. That it is also, as this site often notes, illogical misses the real threat, which is the dismantling of a democratically elected administration. So it's not "almost impressive." It's scary and, so far, effective. Call it out as a deliberate and destructive attack on the country and its rules. That's the frame liberals should recognize and voice.

Posted by: SF on February 18, 2010 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

the Dems were just handed a silver bullet. now if they only had teh first clue how to handle a gun.

look, the anti-Washington anger, including among Tea Partiers, was largely started by the sense that bankers and big corps got bailed out, but the average Joe and Jane in middle America didn't. The Tea Party movement is strongest in some of the most depressed areas. Populism - against government AND corporations is on the rise (see, e.g., polling on Citizens United v. FEC).

and the Repubs just had a secret meeting, with 100 lobbyists representing Big Business to obstruct a bill that creates jobs for "real Americans" but also to do so hypocritically because they actually favor its provisions?

Anyone counting the buzzwords for the ad-that-writes-itself?

Explain to me again how we appear to be losing this November (better still, explain to me how, if we screw this up, we deserve to win in the first place. . .)

Posted by: zeitgeist on February 18, 2010 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK



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