Posted by DrJohn on 4 January, 2017 at 4:42 pm. 11 comments already!

reid-bandage

 

As the new Congress convenes, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) demonstrates that for some reason being a democrat leader in Congress has the unfortunate prerequisite of being an idiot. A volcano of bombast picking up right where Harry Reid left, Schumer spit out his vision of the unending obstructionism he plans for the GP and Donald Trump.

He promised to block any Trump nominee for the Supreme Court.

“It’s hard for me to imagine a nominee that Donald Trump would choose that would get Republican support that we could support,” Schumer said in an interview Tuesday night on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show.”

Asked whether he’ll do his “best to hold the seat open” on the Supreme Court, Schumer responded, “Absolutely.”

For Schumer, it’s about retribution. The Republican-controlled Senate failed even to vote on President Obama’s last nomination to the highest court, Merrick Garland, who was put up for the job after the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Republicans instead made the Supreme Court a campaign issue, saying whoever was elected president would get to nominate Scalia’s replacement.

The Democratic Senate leader told host Maddow that Republicans got away with not voting on Obama’s nominee, but that “the consequences will be down the road.”

But in June, Schumer sang a different tune, blasting Republicans for not doing their duty and for creating “chaos.”

The battle lines are being drawn over the repeal of obamacare.

And Schumer disclosed the conditions under which he would work with Donald Trump:

“The only way we’re going to work with him is if he moves completely in our direction and abandons his Republican colleagues,” Schumer told CNN Tuesday. “90-95 percent of the time we’ll be holding his feet to the fire and holding him accountable.”

Schumer shows that he is no stranger to irony:

Schumer added, “But we’re Democrats. We’re not just going to oppose things to oppose them.”

But the Schumer the New Yorker has an Achilles heel. Well, two, actually.

  1. Reconciliation:Without reconciliation, Obamacare would not have become law at all. It’s true that the main Obamacare structure was passed by the Senate in December 2009 under normal rules for legislative consideration. That’s because Democrats at that time had 60 votes (including two independent senators who caucus with them). They didn’t need to resort to reconciliation to pass the bill as long as all 60 of their senators stuck together and supported passage, which they did.But then Scott Brown won the Massachusetts Senate race in January 2010; the Democrats lost their 60-vote supermajority and could no longer close off debate on legislation without the help of at least one Republican senator.At that point, the president and his allies had two choices. They could compromise with Republicans and bring back a bill to the Senate that could garner a large bipartisan majority. Or they could ignore the election results in Massachusetts and pull an unprecedented legislative maneuver, essentially switching from regular order to reconciliation at the eleventh hour, thereby bypassing any need for Republican support. As they had done at every other step in the process, the Democrats chose the partisan route. They created a separate bill, with scores and scores of legislative changes that essentially became the vehicle for a House-Senate conference on the legislation. That bill was designated a reconciliation bill. Then they passed the original Senate bill through the House on the explicit promise that it would be immediately amended by this highly unusual reconciliation bill, which then passed both the House and Senate a few days later, on an entirely party-line vote.
  2. The nuclear option. Five years ago Harry Reid triggered the nuclear optionIn a shocking development Thursday evening, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) triggered a rarely used procedural option informally called the “nuclear option” to change the Senate rules.Reid and 50 members of his caucus voted to change Senate rules unilaterally to prevent Republicans from forcing votes on uncomfortable amendments after the chamber has voted to move to final passage of a bill.Reid’s coup passed by a vote of 51-48, leaving Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) fuming.The surprise move stunned Republicans, who did not expect Reid to bring heavy artillery to what had been a humdrum knife fight over amendments to China currency legislation.And he did it again in 2013:The Senate approved a historic rules change on Thursday by eliminating the use of the filibuster on all presidential nominees except those to the U.S. Supreme Court.Invoking the long-threatened “nuclear option” means that most of President Barack Obama’s judicial and executive branch nominees no longer need to clear a 60-vote threshold to reach the Senate floor and get an up-or-down vote.

Then he uttered some words which will come back to haunt democrats


“This isn’t obstruction on substance, on qualifications. It’s just to gum up the works,”

These are two weapons the GOP can use the beat the snot out of democrats and they do deserve it. Of course, now that the shoe is on the other foot Schumer is dripping with remorse.

“I wish it hadn’t happened,” Schumer said in an interview with CNN, about the move that was triggered by former Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid (D-NV).

The move is dubbed the “nuclear option” because by altering the filibuster rules it stands to blow up bipartisan Senate relations. 

“I argued against it at the time,” Schumer said. “I said both for Supreme Court and in Cabinet should be 60, because on such important positions there should be some degree of bipartisanship. I won on Supreme Court, lost on Cabinet. But, that’s what we have to live with now.”

Republicans hold a 52-48 majority in the new Senate which means they already have the number needed to confirm Trump’s nominees without the Democrats. However, the Democrats have still vowed to fight against the picks. Schumer and his fellow Democratic senators will aggressively target eight of President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks, which he refers to as “rigged.”

Seven of barack obama’s Cabinet nominees were approved on the first day of his first term.

By the end of the day on January 20, 2009, Obama had an Agriculture Secretary, Education Secretary, Energy Secretary, Secretary of Homeland Security, Secretary of the Interior, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Veterans Affairs Administrator. Clinton was confirmed as Secretary of State the following day. Each nominee was appointed by late November or early December, scheduled a hearing prior Obama’s inauguration and confirmed by voice vote.

That is not likely to happen for Trump, but it won’t really matter. democrats are going to be given a chance, but then will be run over as necessary and appropriate. We’re going to have to approve them to find out what’s in them.

What goes around, you know. And for that, the GOP really ought to send Hairy Greed, er, I mean Harry Reid, a thank you note.

UPDATE

A commenter at Free Republic tipped me off to something I had missed, and it’s YUGE

Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said he is confident that he has laid the groundwork for Democrats to nuke the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees if they win back the Senate in November.

Envisioning Hillary Clinton in the White House and Democrats controlling the Senate, Reid warned that if a Senate Republican minority block her Supreme Court nominee, he is confident the party won’t hesitate to change the filibuster rules again.

Such a move would be an extension of what Reid did in 2013 when he was still majority leader, eliminating filibusters (with a simple majority vote) on the President’s nominees. There was only one exception: the Supreme Court. As it stands now, Democrats still need 60 votes to move forward with a Supreme Court nominee.

Reid said, however, that could change.

“I really do believe that I have set the Senate so when I leave, we’re going to be able to get judges done with a majority. It takes only a simple majority anymore. And, it’s clear to me that if the Republicans try to filibuster another circuit court judge, but especially a Supreme Court justice, I’ve told ’em how and I’ve done it, not just talking about it. I did it in changing the rules of the Senate. It’ll have to be done again,” Reid told TPM in a wide-ranging interview about his time in the Senate and his legacy.

Well, then, there ought not be any whining on the part of democrats when the GOP does exactly this.

 

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