Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 10, 2010

VOINOVICH GIVES SMALL-BUSINESS BILL A BOOST.... As of late-July, the prospects for the small-business bill pending in the Senate looked pretty good. The aid package included tax breaks, new incentives, and an attempt to expand credit through a lending program that utilizes local banks. It had 59 supporters, and the Democratic majority only needed one GOP vote to overcome yet another Republican filibuster.

They didn't get that vote. Shortly before the Senate broke for its recess, Republicans threw a bit of a tantrum over the number of amendments they were allowed to consider, and unanimously blocked the chamber from voting on the bill. As a consequence, many small businesses simply put expansion plans on hold, waiting for the GOP to stop playing games.

When the Senate returns from its recess, this small-business bill is set to be the first order of business. Yesterday, the 60th vote appeared to come into place.

Retiring Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) said he plans to help push a package of small-business incentives through the Senate next week, a move that would give President Obama and congressional Democrats a key victory on the economy in the final weeks before the November midterm elections.

In an interview, Voinovich said he could no longer support Republican efforts to delay the measure in hopes of winning the right to offer additional amendments. Most of the proposed GOP amendments "didn't have anything to do with the bill" anyway, Voinovich said, and amounted merely to partisan "messaging."

"We don't have time for messaging," Voinovich said. "We don't have time anymore. This country is really hurting."

I'm delighted Voinovich is prepared to break ranks on this. He's retiring anyway -- meaning Voinovich need not worry about partisan reprisals from his party -- and he apparently heard from constituents during the break who convinced him to do the right thing.

But pay careful attention to his explanation. To hear Voinovich tell it, his Republican colleagues were, in fact, playing petty games, as part of a larger political "messaging" effort. Now, the Ohio senator believes, "we don't have time anymore."

That's true, we didn't have time in July, either.

Voinovich is effectively admitting that his Republican Party delayed progress on a worthwhile economic bill -- on purpose -- as part of an election-season scheme. That's quite a concession, and if our political system made more sense, would be considered pretty scandalous.

As for what's next, the Senate leadership now expects passage by the end of next week. It will need House approval before heading to the White House.

Steve Benen 9:25 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (5)

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"That's quite a concession, and if our political system made more sense, would be considered pretty scandalous."

It's a scandal only to those who haven't reduced politics to a set of false equivalencies. Which excludes virtually the entire MSM, the Washington establishment, and about 90% of the American public.

Posted by: walt on September 10, 2010 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

walt said it all.

Unless the media points it out to the American people there is no scandal is screwing the American public to gain an advantage in the all important political horse race.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 10, 2010 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

Ahh , Voinovich in reality has taken his eye off the ball . The one thousand year majority is not going to tolerate ephemeral nonsense like this . Why I bet right now in Santa's workshop there is a real effort to get a gift for the retiring senator juuusst right .

Lucky for Voinovich the republicans don't carry a grudge or eleventh commandment any further than they can throw it .

Posted by: FRP on September 10, 2010 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

Ahh , Voinovich in reality has taken his eye off the ball . The one thousand year majority is not going to tolerate ephemeral nonsense like this .

Don't count on it. George V. has never done anything in his entire life that wasn't looking out for George V. From the time he was mayor of Cleveland on he's always, always been looking out for Number One.

His change of heart suggests that his friends in the business community have told him that if he wants them to look out for him post retirement, he should step up and help them pass this. It's not like this bill is some massive liberal idea - it's basically a Republicans-circa-1990 idea, and one that would have a lot of GOP support if there were a Republican in office.

Posted by: NonyNony on September 10, 2010 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln will announce their intent to fillibuster the bill in 5,4,3,...

Posted by: Winknandanod on September 10, 2010 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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