Categorized | Senate News Briefing

4 Weeks After Election Day, Democrats’ Priorities Still Out Of Touch

With Congress back from its Thanksgiving break, Democrats once again have an opportunity to prove that they heard the message Americans sent Washington on election day by focusing on the priorities of the American people: helping the economy and preventing a massive tax increase in January. Yet Democrats continue to show that their priorities are strangely out of line.

As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican Leader John Boehner write in The Washington Post today, “Republicans heard the voters loud and clear. They want us to focus on preventing a tax hike on every taxpayer, reining in Washington spending and making it easier for employers to start hiring again.” They point out, “Despite what some Democrats in Congress have suggested, voters did not signal they wanted more cooperation on the Democrats’ big-government policies that most Americans oppose. On the contrary, they want both parties to work together on policies that will help create the conditions for private-sector job growth. They want us to stop the spending binge, cut the deficit and send a clear message on taxes and regulations so small businesses can start hiring again.”

But consider the priorities Democrats are acting on this week. The Senate began the week by returning to, and passing, a bill that expands the FDA’s regulatory authorities. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has not announced what the Senate will turn to next, but he’s previously indicated that he wants votes on ending the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and a controversial amnesty bill known as the DREAM Act. But Democrats still have no plan on what to do on the looming tax hike at the end of December.

Meanwhile, the White House seems equally out of touch. In the midst of a diplomatic crisis concerning leaked cables and secret documents and serious issues on the Korean peninsula, President Obama has been pushing ratification of his nuclear weapons treaty with Russia, and prodding Congress on the DREAM Act, while the Pentagon discusses repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

As Leader McConnell observed in a speech on the Senate floor today, “It’s unclear how long our friends across the aisle will continue to resist the message of the election and cling to the liberal wish list that got us a job-killing health care law, a ‘cap-and-trade’ national energy tax, an out-of-control spending spree, million more jobs lost, trillions more in debt, but not a single appropriations bill to fund the government or a bill to prevent the coming tax hikes. With just a few weeks left before the end of the year, they’re still clinging to the wrong priorities — instead of preventing a tax hike, they want to focus on immigration and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell —  and, maybe, if there’s time left, see what they can do about jobs and the economy. Indeed, their entire legislative plan for the rest of the lame duck session appears to be to focus on anything except jobs — which is astonishing when you consider the election we’ve just had.”

On The Floor

The Senate reconvened at 9 AM today.

This morning, the Senate voted 73-25 to pass S. 510, the food safety and FDA reorganization bill. Prior to final passage, the Senate rejected two motions to suspend the rules to adopt amendments from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK). The first would have instituted an earmark moratorium and the second was his version of a food safety bill. All motions to suspend the rules require 67 votes to be adopted.

Following the votes, the Senate began a period of morning business.

The Senate will recess between 12:30 and 4 PM for weekly policy lunches.

This morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl, House Republican Leader John Boehner, House Republican Whip Eric Cantor, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer are meeting with President Obama at the White House.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 69-26 to invoke cloture on the Harkin substitute amendment to S. 510.

Also yesterday, the Senate rejected a motion to suspend the rules with respect to an amendment offered by Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) which would have eliminated the onerous 1099 reporting requirements on small businesses in the Democrats’ health care bill. A motion to suspend the rules for an amendment from Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) was also rejected. The Baucus amendment was similar to the Johanns amendment but was not offset.


About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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