The Harry Reid Senate is a full-blown American laughing stock. Here the WSJ chronicles for us all the failed Senate overseen by party-politics-centric Harry Reid and the Democrats. The only hope for Americans is to put in charge a better team.
The U.S. Senate failed to advance another piece of popular bipartisan legislation late Monday, and the reason tells the real story of Washington gridlock in the current Congress. To wit, Harry Reid has essentially shut down the Senate as a place to debate and vote on policy.
The Majority Leader’s strategy was once again on display as the Senate failed to get the 60 votes to move a popular energy efficiency bill co-sponsored by New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen and Ohio Republican Rob Portman. Mr. Reid blamed the defeat on Republican partisanship. But the impasse really came down to Mr. Reid’s blockade against amendments that might prove politically difficult for Democrats.
The Nevadan used parliamentary tricks to block energy-related amendments to an energy bill. This blockade is now standard procedure as he’s refused to allow a vote on all but nine GOP amendments since last July. Mr. Reid is worried that some of these amendments might pass with support from Democrats, thus embarrassing a White House that opposes them.
In the case of Portman-Shaheen, Republicans had prepared amendments to speed up exports of liquefied natural gas; to object to a new national carbon tax; to rein in the Environmental Protection Agency’s war on coal plants; and to authorize the Keystone XL pipeline. A majority of the public supports these positions and many Democrats from right-leaning or energy-producing states claim to do the same. The bill against the EPA’s coal-plant rules is co-sponsored by West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin.
Yet the White House and Mr. Reid’s dominant liberal wing won’t take the chance that a bipartisan coalition might pass these amendments, most of which the House has passed or soon would. President Obama would thus face a veto decision that would expose internal Democratic divisions. So Mr. Reid shut down the amendment process. Republicans then responded by refusing to provide the 60 votes necessary to clear a filibuster and vote on the underlying bill.