One Reason Our “Do Nothing Congress” Does Nothing
"I Don't Mind A Parasite. I Object To A Cut-Rate One."
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Much has been said about GOP “obstructionism” – particularly as it relates to President Obama’s liberal agenda. It’s clear that as far as Republicans are concerned, President Obama NEEDS to be obstructed. But little has been said or written about Democrat “obstructionism.” Yes – that definitely exists as well, and you need look no further than Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for a prime example.

The extreme lengths Reid has gone to stifle or eliminate true debate and ordinary parliamentary function in the United States Senate was recently chronicled in three articles published earlier this year. First – back in January, Andrew Stiles of the National Review Online pointed out that Reid’s “gestapo tactics” are finally being noticed by the lamestream media, and have even started to offend his Democrat colleagues:

“It took a while, but the media seem to have finally noticed Senate majority leader Harry Reid’s unprecedented obstructionism.

The New York Times reported last week on Reid’s “brutish style” and “uncompromising control” over the amendments process in the Senate. Why are more people finally catching on to Reid’s flagrant disregard for Senate customs? In part because conservatives aren’t the only ones complaining.

Democrats such as Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota — who wants to repeal Obamacare’s medical-device tax — and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York — who has waged a highly publicized campaign to reform the way the military handles sexual-assault cases — have been denied votes on their proposed amendments to various bills. Gillibrand had hoped to attach her sexual-assault amendment to the defense-appropriations bill that passed in December, but no amendments were allowed. Klobuchar has called for “a more open amendment process” because she’d like a vote on repealing the medical-device tax.

Moderate Republicans who occasionally vote with Democrats and help broker bipartisan compromise are annoyed as well. Senator Lisa Murkowki of Alaska told the New York Times she was “kind of fed up” with Reid’s obstructionism. “He’s a leader. Why is he not leading this Senate? Why is he choosing to ignore the fact that he has a minority party that he needs to work with, that actually has some decent ideas? Why is he bringing down the institution of the Senate?”

For the entire article, see:

Then in May, the OpEd page of the Wall Street Journal dug deeper into what they call “Harry Reid’s Senate Blockade,” and explained “the real story of Washington gridlock in the current Congress”:

“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.

It's important to understand how much Mr. Reid's tactics have changed the Senate. Not too long ago it was understood that any Senator could get a floor vote if he wanted it. The minority party, often Democrats, used this right of amendment to sponsor votes that would sometimes put the majority on the spot. It's called politics, rightly understood. This meant the Senate debated national priorities and worked its bipartisan will. Harry Reid's Senate has become a deliberate obstacle to democratic accountability.

And speaking of accountability, every supposedly pro-energy Democrat supported Mr. Reid in his amendment blockade. That includes Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu, who is running TV ads back home attacking the Obama Administration energy policies that Mr. Reid is protecting from bipartisan majority rejection. She still claims to support a vote on the Keystone XL pipeline, and she blamed Republicans for not going along with Mr. Reid's vague assurance that he would allow a stand-alone vote on Keystone later this month."

(Note: Reid's "vague assurance that he would allow a stand-alone vote on Keystone later" in May turned out to be just another trick. No stand-alone vote, and Keystone-XL is still languishing in Harry Reid's unofficial legislative graveyard.)

"But why not force the vote now? If Ms. Landrieu really had Keystone as a top priority, as she claims, she'd have joined Republicans in demanding an immediate amendment to a bill that she knows the White House is reluctant to veto. And she'd have insisted that Mr. Reid allow a 50-vote threshold for passage, rather than Mr. Reid's 60-vote supermajority.

Ms. Landrieu instead is playing Mr. Reid's double game, demanding a Keystone vote even as she undermines its passage. She is running for election by boasting about her clout as the new Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, but she is so ineffectual that she can't get her own party to allow a vote on what she claims is one of her top priorities.

The lesson for voters is simple: If they want anything meaningful done in the last two years of the Obama Administration, they will have to elect a Republican Senate.”


Finally - when it comes to obstructionism, Harry Reid doesn’t only kill GOP efforts in the Senate – his do-nothing actions result in numerous bills that are passed by the House of Representatives being “D.O.A.” upon arrival in the Senate. In an article posted at back in May, the headline tells the tale:

“House passed a dozen VA reform bills that are DOA in Senate”

The article goes on to say:

"While the president pounds his fist and proclaims he’s “madder than hell” over the Veterans Affairs scandal and then just asks for more time to review and investigate, House Republicans are getting pretty tired of the do-nothing Senate and a president who claims to only learn about problems in his administration on cable news.

Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., sits on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee in the House and she told [Larry O'Connor] Wednesday on WMAL radio in Washington, D.C., that the House has passed a dozen bills for reform of the VA and they are collecting dust on [Sen.] Harry Reid’s desk:

O’CONNOR: Are your colleagues in the House doing something about this decades-old problem so we can get something done for the vets?

REP WALORSKI: In the past 18 months, since I’ve been a member of Congress, we’ve passed, on the House floor, at least 12 reform VA bills. Mandating the VA to fix different things, mandating the VA to report different things, mandating them to fix their website, bipartisan bills that went to the Senate, and they are DOA on the Senate side

The Indiana freshman went on to say, “We can pass bills all day long here on the House side, but if the Senate doesn’t get in gear and be held responsible and be held accountable for these veterans, it’s not going to work. … These things have been dead on arrival. Harry Reid has not moved one of these bills.”

So when you hear the president and the Democrats in Congress lament the “do nothing Congress” and proclaim their “year of action” in which President Obama will “act if Congress fails to act,” take note that Harry Reid has not brought any of the House VA reform bills to the Senate floor for consideration while veterans are dying as they wait for care. “


The VA bills ignored by Reid are only the tip of the iceberg. He ROUTINELY “tables” or kills House bills which are passed to the Senate for action. He has done this purely for political purposes. The above three articles focus on only the last two years or so, but Reid has been in control of the Senate for FIVE years – fhe first two of which the Democrats held both Houses of Congress and the White House. There has been little change throughout this entire period: Democrat agenda items are pushed through and GOP bills and ideas are buried. This strategy has the two-fold effect of promoting ONLY what the Dems want while allowing them to make the false claim that the GOP has “no ideas” or “no solutions.” This amounts to “stacking the deck” against the Republicans, and enables the Dems to fuel their smear campaign against the GOP at the same time. Some call this "good politics." I call it the Politics of Obstructionism. As can be seen from the above, Harry Reid is running the obstructionist playbook step-by-step. Tricky Dick Nixon would be proud!

Voters need to wise up come November. The Wall Street Journal is correct: if anything meaningful is to be done during the last two years of the Obama administration, WE THE PEOPLE first need to fire Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader. We can start the process right here in Georgia by supporting the GOP candidate for U.S. Senator.

Latest Activity: Aug 06, 2014 at 3:58 PM

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PoliticsNation commented on Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 at 18:45 PM

The Republicans have been nothing but a severe disappointment to the American people. This is especially true for the more than three million unemployed families whom they denied an extension of benefits, since late last December. They have effectively forced millions of families into financial ruin and deep poverty. They have shown by their actions a true disdain and contempt for the poor in this country. They have voted against every bill that would benefit the unemployed, women, gays, and minorities in our country. They have prevented any positive change to take place by this president. They have thrown their fellow Americans under the bus, for their own selfish political agenda. They have aligned themselves with corporate America, and special interest groups, with deep pockets. They have proven clearly who they truly represent, and it's not you or me. Many Americans have now lost faith in our government and the latest polls show it.

House Republicans Violate Pledge By Adding Nearly $1 Trillion To Debt;

The measures include a slew of tax breaks known as tax extenders. Among them are a $155 billion research and development tax credit, a $90 billion expansion of the child tax credit to higher-income families and a $2 billion enhanced tax deduction for businesses that make charitable food donations.

Armed with a “Pledge to America,” Republicans won majority control of the House in 2010. The pledge spelled out the party’s governing principles and included a vow to “balance the budget and pay down the debt.”

To keep the promise, Republicans have demanded that spending increases, including for disaster relief and other crises, be funded or offset in the budget.

JimmyMack commented on Thursday, Aug 07, 2014 at 07:23 AM

And to quote a most recent 'canvassing' (note I did not say the P word) Congress remains at a 13% approval rating while our 'Liberal (Satanic Muslim Manchurian) President holds steady at 40%.

shannalat commented on Thursday, Aug 07, 2014 at 09:11 AM

The problem is not partisan. It is a bipartisan problem for sure. There is no debate on either side of the aisle and this is why nothing is getting done. Why does this happen this way?
Some might say it is big money in politics.
Politicians get money from a lobby for campaigns and that money makes then vote and debate for one idea.
Others would say it is the voters and polarized non compromising speech heard from the voters. The voters want no compromise because they hold such polarized points.
I say that these two thoughts have credence for sure but at it's heart the do nothing government is a problem with men and women not acting on their conscience.
No one would acting on their Conscience would do the things both parties have done.
Acting within their conscience men and women would do all they could to ensure children whether they are immigrants or natural born citizens were not treated worse than live stock. Anything meaning anything. If it required debate and making concessions a man or woman acting in their Conscience would do this.
I think the citizens may have elected a bunch of sociopaths to our government. Men and women who are so disconnected from humanity that they would rather let people starve to death than debate deal and bargain.
This sociopath mentality may be part of the development of the ruling class in the United States.
Our government has become a class of people (some may say classless lol) who live differently than any other class in the country. Doing this they lack the required empathy to take action and help any other group. I think prove for my theory is in the inaction of our government.
This is of course just a theory and originally it is not mine. This was touched upon by Carl Marx. The major difference is that in a democracy we vote in our ruling class, but see we vote in the same people year after year and expect change. I really think a vote for a democrat is the same as a vote for a republican. A vote for a member of either party is a vote for a sociopath who will do nothing and blame everyone.

timeontarget commented on Thursday, Aug 07, 2014 at 12:32 PM

"A vote for a member of either party is a vote for a sociopath who will do nothing and blame everyone."

shannalat you are absolutely right.

TERM LIMITS is what we need. The entrenched old folks on both sides of the aisle are more interested in sustaining their positions of being pampered dignitaries than anything else.

Therefore they have all failed collectively to keep the great economic engine (of this once wonderful country)running and moving at a speed which can employ the able bodied who are yet willing to work and therefore generate revenue for government to support those who have no pride and are willing to live off of the government.

And we remain intent on putting folks like Jason Carter and Miss Nunn in office because they come from the right stock.

JimmyMack commented on Thursday, Aug 07, 2014 at 17:44 PM

Get this, I JimmyMack, believe that Term Limits and only Term Limits will save our country. I would forsake my Devotion to my Democrat Pedigree IF and only IF I knew everyone else would do the same thing. I just don't think that electoral Nirvana is attainable.

A TERM LIMIT PARTY needs to be birthed. Otherwise, we will all continue to hang separately if not altogether. If a TEA PARTY can be born, why can't a TERM LIMIT PARTY come into existence?

Funkentelecky commented on Friday, Aug 08, 2014 at 08:06 AM

I agree with TOT and Jimmy in regards to term limits. However let's address the border fiasco which sits squarely in Harry Reid's lap of Do-Nothing unless it's politically beneficial for Democrats. The Senate Bill passed last year most of us agree on except for one thing; close the border first. If Reid would allow that to be added the bill would pass in the House too. What say you about that Jimmy?

shannalat commented on Friday, Aug 08, 2014 at 08:25 AM

Yes Term limits are in order. There are term limits for the executive office why not the guys and gals on capitol hill?

JimmyMack commented on Friday, Aug 08, 2014 at 10:11 AM

@Funk: At the risk of having 'someone' beat me over the head with this later...

I will say this: In order to stitch up a bleeding wound one most stop the bleeding first. no harm to the patient.

Funkentelecky commented on Friday, Aug 08, 2014 at 10:33 AM

@Jimmy, it depends on who you consider as the patient. It is a crime to enter another country without government approval. With that being said our nation and sovereignty is being harmed by the illegal lawbreakers. Can you go to Mexico and stay there without approval?

shannalat commented on Friday, Aug 08, 2014 at 10:44 AM

are refugees the same thing as illegals?

JimmyMack commented on Friday, Aug 08, 2014 at 16:02 PM

@Funk: I will attempt to bring this home for you.

If I got a dehydrated crying woman with 1-2-3-4-5 babies and children banging on my door any time of day or night seeking refuge and shelter. I would first locate my firearm (just in case) then open my door and let them all in.
I would provide them with food and shelter til I decided the appropriate method to deal with them. If it was clear they were fleeing, murderers, rapist, sex traders, drug cartels, out right death, it would not only be WRONG to close my door but IMMORAL to do so.

If my grocery bill went up while housing them and new sleeping arrangements had to be made to accommodate them, so be it. I would do it.

And this is where the rub is between Liberals and Conservatives. I would spend the extra dollars providing them safe haven until deciding what to do with them. Knowing all may not be true innocents I would allow the proper judicial venue to decide what to do with some of the bad apples in the bunch.

Funk, I am sure you know that some countries of the world will NOT extradite a known American Serial killer to the US to face justice if we have capital punishment on the table! What's up with that?

To send most of these innocent women back into the hands of drug cartels, murderers, rapists, etc. as some Tea Party type Conservatives wish to do, bespeaks an unashamed self marginalized arrogance that is beyond measure on their part and is unholy. Some of these Conservatives are beyond any Redemption in my view.

JimmyMack commented on Friday, Aug 08, 2014 at 16:07 PM

And Funk...I don't even want to go to Mexico! Now say if Tot comes to my house with a gun and a desire to do me and mine personal harm, I just might find our where you live and come to your house and maybe have to stay a spell. You gonna let me in or turn me over to TOT?

sebekm commented on Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Good discussion. Thanks to all.

Funkentelecky commented on Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 14:07 PM

Thanks Jimmy, I will let you in everytime there is a need; however don't forget that you are an American already living here too!

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