Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is keeping senators in Washington for a rare Saturday session—and risking a government shutdown—after he went to extraordinary lengths to block Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) from forcing a vote to block President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty.
What happened on Friday night is a series of procedural tactics that Cruz and Lee engaged in with Reid. Cruz tried to force a constitutional point of order—which requires a 51-vote threshold—to challenge the constitutionality of Obama’s executive amnesty. Meanwhile, Lee was pushing an amendment to the cromnibus spending bill that just passed the House that would have blocked funding for Obama’s executive amnesty implementation.
Using parliamentary tricks, Reid blocked both Cruz’s and Lee’s measures, then sought unanimous consent to adjourn the Senate until Monday—at which time Senators would have been brought back in for passage for the cromnibus. But in consultation with Cruz, Lee objected to unanimous consent to adjourn the Senate until Monday unless Reid would allow a vote on the effort to block funding for Obama’s executive amnesty. Because Reid wouldn’t agree to allow the vote, he decided to keep Senators in Washington for the weekend.
Because Reid needs to, per Senate rules, fill the timeframe until senators can actually vote on cloture on the cromnibus bill—which they can first technically do at 1 AM early Sunday morning—Reid is now attempting to force through several controversial Obama nominees like NRA-opposed surgeon general nominee Vivek Murthy, Deputy Secretary of State nominee Tony Blinken, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) director nominee Sarah Saldana.
The nominees—like Murthy—who have a hold placed on them still need to clear a 60-vote threshold to be confirmed, which means five Republicans would need to enable any nominee assuming all the Democrats vote for each one. So it doesn’t mean Reid will be able to succeed on them anyway.
“While the Senate considers the CRomnibus spending bill, all we’ve done was simply request to hold a vote on a measure to stop President Obama’s amnesty,” Cruz said in a Facebook post about his and Lee’s efforts on Friday evening. “Instead, Majority Leader Harry Reid is holding a series of votes today for the sheer purpose of blocking that vote on Obama’s amnesty. Harry Reid’s last act as Majority Leader is to, once again, act as an enabler for President Obama, by blocking this vote on the President’s amnesty. He is going to an embarrassing length to tie up the floor to obstruct debate and a vote on this issue because he knows amnesty is unpopular with the American people, and he doesn’t want the Democrats on the record as supporting it.”
Garrett Murch, a communications adviser to incoming Senate Budget Committee chairman Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), said in an email to reporters that these tactics from Reid are similar to how the Senate Democrats haven’t produced a budget in years.
Looks like Cruz came out rather bloody, like an amateur lightweight getting his ass paddled by Reid.
@Ronald J. Ward:
Nope, not at all. Cruz forced the Dems to go on record that they support Obama’s illegal amnesty program that will affect black workers more than any other group. So much for Democrats caring if black workers are amnestied out of jobs.
Don’t think those votes to support Obama’s illegal amnesty will not turn the voter against those Dems come next election time. By that time, the black unemployment rate should be around 40%.
@retire05: Not that one should expect anything other than, that’s a pretty weak tea argument and based more on your preferred conclusion rather than fact. The opposite side of that coin would be that it’s somehow advantageous for the black community to have millions of undocumented workers who are taking jobs for whatever coins they can get and driving wages down? Reality doesn’t support your argument nor does it play any significant role in polling.
Even if such silliness had some merit, it’s no comparison to the attack of the Ryan budget mindset of the opposition party or their refusal to raise the MW or even their insistence of denying the black community access to healthcare. Weak tea and specious my friend.
But in regards to Warren and Cruz and who won what, America took a beating when members of both parties enslaved American tax payers to the banking industry. Insuring that tax payers pay for Wall Street’s mistakes should be condemned by every American be them Liberal, conservative, tea partier, or whoever. Warren, love her or hate her, is on the absolute correct side of this argument. Cruz? Not so much.
Warren failed to win her battle, as did Cruz. Warren’s argument is correct as bank giveaways have no place in this fight. They should never have been a bargaining chip.
Cruz argument was faulty on 2 fronts. 1 being that the new hostage taking strategy of today’s so-called conservatives are inconsistent with the very legislative process that they claim to defend. Granted, the House has power of the purse but a shutdown is indeed a drastic move. This isn’t something that the GOP should just do at a whim. Cruz couldn’t win this and Reid outplayed him as he utilized that time to advance Obama’s nominees.
The other area is that today’s so-called conservatives seem to want to decide what and what’s not constitutional based on how it suits their agenda. Most legal scholars agree Obama’s EO is within the law, Cruz et al don’t care and fail to articulate a constructive argument other than they don’t like it and “Obama”. They also ignore the many EO of Obama’s predecessors that far outnumber his.
In short and to be charitable, while Warren’s fight is on solid ground and should have the support of every American as it certainly supports even the most conservative thought process, Cruz’s fight is far more arguable and divisive.
@Ronald J. Ward:
Really? You think not? How about when they (the black community) do not have a black candidate to vote for? Obama has done pretty well with the black voter, even while decimating their economic prospects, based solely on the matching skin color. Do you think the same loyalty will be maintained when the candidate running is that “feeling entitled” Hillary?
And who would these “scholars” be? More Gruber’s who, when pinned down with their words, slink back and admit they were just saying stupid things to make them look smarter in front of other stupid people? Also, while you are at it, why not produce Obama’s EO’s; they, in fact, do not exist. He bluffed it and is giving the impression that he has gone way out on a limb to help those here illegally when, in fact, all he is doing is telling the little pencil pushers to violate the law and hope no one prosecutes them for it. Imagine how happy the Hispanic community is going to be with Democrats when they learn, again, how they are being played like a fiddle to play the tune “Vote for Democrats, We Stand for the Little Guy” yet they are right where they were when they got here; illegal immigrants.
The facade over the liberal agenda failure is about to crumble away. Your two most reliable voting blocs are about to get a great big wake-up call and realize their are among Gruber’s Goobers that were expected to believe whatever lie, regardless of how fantastic, the left invented.
@Ronald J. Ward:
The “hostage taking” as you refer to it, has been consistently done on the part of the Democrats who shoved Obamacare down our throats in the dark of night and behind closed mahogany doors (no Republicans allowed) although the nation did not want it. And all of it was based on lies, as Jonathan Gruber has shown.
Then why did Elizabeth Warren give an impassioned speech on the floor of the Senate advocating just that thing?
Cruz has the Constitution, and the separation of powers, on his side. Just because the Democrats sold their souls to the god of Socialism long ago, he still remains Constitutionally correct.
There is no EO signed by Obama granting rights to illegals that they are not entitled to, such as being able to stay here without fear of deportation. There is just a directive, issued by Jeh Johnson, which holds no executive power. The Republicans should defend the entire program, and issue orders that no fees paid by those legal immigrants shall be used for Obama’s continued destruction of the job market for un/under educated blacks and Hispanics who are legal citizens, as the Obama Administration is currently doing..
Republicans refused to participate in the creation of Affordable Care Act legislation in any constructive fashion, offering only input and “poison pill” amendments designed to weaken the results or derail the entire process. It was “shoved down their throat” only in the sense that there was sufficient support to pass the bill without them. They simply didn’t get their way, which is true of those casting votes against any bill that has ever been passed by Congress.
Nor was anything done “in the dark of night.” Legislation is commonly crafted by committee, behind closed doors. The results are revealed when it is put before the assembled body for consideration and debate. It was both online for public view and printed for Congressional review. You may recall republicans pounding on the stacked pages for a week while proclaiming that no one knew what was inside there. They might have had a better idea if they had opted for good-faith participation in the process from the beginning, or had opened the cover and engaged in an activity known as reading. Admittedly 955 pages is a long bit of legislation, but there’s a convenient aid at the beginning known as a Table of Contents, and every member of Congress has access to staff and legal experts whose jobs it is to assist them with such matters.
Note that of the ten longest Congressional bills ever written, the GOP has been responsible for five. The “Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act,” introduced by a republican and passed in 2005, had a word count almost identical to that of the Affordable Care Act bill. That’s the one that contained the “Bridge to Nowhere” rider.
Ted Cruz Angers GOP as Senate Passes $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill
Ted Cruz: Useful by accident—to the democrats.
Again, Greg, you attempt to rewrite history to make liberals seem less incompetent than they really are. Republicans offered up many recommendations but all (ALL) were rejected. When Obama met with Republicans, he explained to them that, since they lost, they simply need to remain silent and nod at all the Democrat proposals. Democrats refused to entertain any ideas but for far left ideas. Then, as Gruber describes it, the entire law was made to be incomprehensible to all so that the taxes, penalties, restrictions and freedoms lost would not be detected until, hopefully, it was too late.
Obamacare is a really bad law and it was built entirely by Democrats. That is the legacy of it.
Democrats did something constructive when they held majorities in both houses. So let’s see republicans do something constructive. This Congress coming to an end in a few days shouldn’t be an especially hard act to follow.
Immigration reform might be a good place to start. Or maybe they might want to reconsider the wisdom of having just put taxpayers at enormous risk by exposing FDIC insurance to the potentially disastrous consequences of a derivatives market meltdown. That’s got to have been one of the dumbest decisions in recent history. They could probably even blame democrats, since a democrat originally sponsored the stand-alone bill. I assume you know they’re not actually going to do anything about the Affordable Care Act, other than complain about it’s imaginary negative consequences. Even though with majorities in both houses, they easily could make the effort.
What? Obamacare is even more unpopular now that it was before, and when it was first passed. Our labor force it as levels not seen since the days of Carter. Our enemies are laughing at us and our allies don’t trust us. Middle class wages have dropped and there are record numbers of people on welfare. Our border is a sieve, and trust in government is at all time lows.
You are truly delusional, Greggie.
Obamacare’s current low rating in the polls is a measure of nothing more than the success of the GOP’s 6-year-long negative propaganda campaign. After spending that much time, energy, and money attempting to create a negative impression of something, what would anyone expect? Particularly when they have no compunction whatsoever about lying about whatever they want whenever it’s useful.
So, if it’s so horribly bad, let’s see the new republican majorities actually do something about it, rather than running their mouths. Then we can all see what the real world results of that will be.
All they do is run their mouths and work up the peanut gallery. That’s all they’ve done for the past 6 years—unless you count talking down the recovery and closing down the government. They should put up or shut up. Let’s see them actually do something constructive about healthcare, or address our various immigration problems with legislation that actually accomplishes something. Obama has dared them, hasn’t he?
Holy cow it’s that vast right wing conspiracy back from the dead. A successful propaganda campaign is the reason why Obamacare is not popular. Here I thought it was people losing their coverage or their doctors or having their hours at work cut to part time status. Then again it couldn’t be much higher premiums or high deductibles or now being forced into a small network of coverage. How about being told your old old plan, the one you liked, was junk and you need to upgrade to one ACA complaint. Now meet your new insurance agent, John Gruber, he will be taking good care of you.
Nope it’s just those nasty Republicans pulling the wool over ours eyes again. The Republicans couldn’t organize a one man funeral. Yet somehow in Maryland a deep blue state they just elected a Republican governor. A guy no one had ever heard of. It’s was just another Democrat casualty to the vast right wing conspiracy.
And when all is said and done we are still going to have 30 million people without coverage.
Really? I am just wondering, Greg, how it is the GOP gets this negative propaganda out to the public? What is their megaphone? For, as we all know and agree, but for Fox, the entire MSM enterprise is left wing and sings the praises of Obamacare 24/7!! So how does a message of failure squeeze past the trumpeting of success and goodness?
Well, Greg, let me enlighten you. It is due to the personal experiences of the voters. 6 million and more got kicked off their insurance; many of these had to go find other coverage that cost more and provided less. Millions lost coverage that was critical to their needs. Soon, as more mandates kick in (if they ever do), even more will, through personal experience, draw their own conclusions, despite what the corrupt, lap-dog MSM tells them.
You can’t even blame the drop in popularity to Gruber because, once again, the MSM shuts out coverage of his revelations (lies, stupidity of voters, covering up what the law is really about, etc, etc) and ignored it until he sat before Congress.
No, Greg, the popularity and acceptance of the albatross that is Obamacare is due to one thing and one thing only; Obamacare.
Well, it is so horribly bad and once the Republican majority is in place and after Obama is out of office, we will just see what is to be done.
@retire05: “The “hostage taking” as you refer to it, has been consistently done on the part of the Democrats who shoved Obamacare down our throats in the dark of night and behind closed mahogany doors (no Republicans allowed)”
Regurgitating utter nonsensical Fox News talking points that have been debunked time and time again and inconsistent with the reality of both the time frame and input of the law and demonstrates an abject ignorance of the law is a reminder of why any attempt of reasonable dialog with you is akin to trying to rationalize with a trash can.
@Ronald J. Ward: Wrong again, and I’m guessing you think Democrats won the last election cycle as well!!
Hmmmmmm…. no, that’s not quite accurate. Indeed, Democrats secreted themselves away all by themselves (after Obama told Republicans to get in the back seat and shut up) and created this monstrosity all on their own. Recommendations the Republicans made were quickly tossed out and only socialism was allowed in (forcing everyone to purchase, government mandated allowable charges by private doctors, “death panels”, etc). The government was shut down (by Democrats) in 2013 rather than accept the inevitable that the mandates could not be implemented; seems Obama would much rather do that illegally than follow Constitutional procedure.
Yep, Ronald, once again you are shown to be full of crap. Right up to your lie-hole.
Ever going to answer the question as to why Obama used Ferguson as an example of social problems in America before the UN when it was growing ever more apparent that it was left wing agitators that were making it into a social problem? Hmmmm?
To dispel any confusion—intentional or otherwise—post #11 was not made by me. Given that it immediately followed post #10, which I did in fact write, I’m thinking intentional is likely.
Aside from FOX News, which is part of an enormous media conglomerate controlled by Rupert Murdoch, there’s radio and the internet. The speed with which any slanted story or propaganda meme propagates across all of these is astonishing.
@Greg: But ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, NPR, CNN, MSNBC, not to mention the Soros propaganda network all sold Obamacare just as the administration wanted it sold, without asking any questions. Sorry, Greg, once again liberals have nothing but liberalism to blame their failure on.
There has been no failure. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed. It’s the law of the land. Millions of Americans are better off because of it. In the long run, I’m convinced that our entire healthcare system will be improved by it.
Why are you complaining, Greggie? You have NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, CNN and of course your favorite, I’m sure, Al Jazeera. Yet, like all Socialist eunuchs, you whine about ONE channel that doesn’t tow the Democrat line.
Sold to the American people with a pack of lies.
So those of us who lost their health insurance, and had to pay for what was guaranteed to be there for us in retirement at no cost, are better off? If that is the case, why are the unions now whining about the Cadillac tax that their employees are facing and demanding Obama grant them exemption from that tax? The shite is about to hit the fan next year and all those union goons that supported Obamacare are going to be on the hot seat put there by the rank and file.
And I’m convinced that you are nothing more than a puppet for the left wing. You should be ashamed that you can’t move unless your handler’s are pulling your strings.
@Greg: Obamacare has failed to deliver on every promise made. Premiums are higher, costs are higher, people are kicked off their chosen insurance, it is rife with taxes, it will cost $2 trillion (hardly “deficit neutral”) and, in the end, it will leave 30 million still uninsured.
What do you call failure?
Then go edit it and delete it.