Freedom Folks

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Amnesty Now!

Source: clubforgrowth

When you hear things like "Amnesties in the bag?" Maybe not so much...
High Political Drama in the Senate

The Senate is boiling with excitement right now. For background, the Senate is proposing very weak earmark reform rules. In contrast, Speaker Pelosi and the House Democrats implemented some very strong earmark rules in the lower chamber last week.

In response, Senator Jim DeMint, who is a very strong advocate for more transparency, figured, “Let’s just offer Pelosi’s reforms as an amendment to the Senate bill.”

It was a very clever strategy. Dick Durbin, the Majority Whip, threw a fit on the Senate floor and offered a motion to table it (kill it).

Let's be clear about the rich irony here. Senate Leadership tried to kill a bill that House Leadership supported and passed. Harry Reid and Dick Durbin are basically saying that they want their pork no matter what, even if it embarrasses their own party.

So when the motion to kill the bill came to a vote, Durbin and the Democrats lost! [ed. note: At this point, the Senate erupted. The chair, who I think was Maria Cantwell, banged the gavel repeatedly to bring the room to order. The Democrats were frantically performing triage in an attempt to recover.]

It should be noted that a majority should never offer a motion to table if they aren’t sure they can win. It was very embarrassing. Especially since Durbin was trying to kill a proposal that his Leadership colleagues in the House offered!

Anyways, after the motion failed, DeMint asked for a voice vote, which is common. It's basically used to save time since de facto support of the bill was decided when the motion failed. However, Big Ted Kennedy objected, which is all that it needed to skip a voice vote.

The Dems are now off the floor whipping the hell out of their members for when they take a real roll call vote later this afternoon.

Stay tuned...

UPDATE (4:07pm): They are voting now. Reid was waving his hand on the Senate floor right now as if to say, "Hurry up!".

UPDATE (4:23pm): Actually, they are only voting to acquire the attendance necessary to vote on the bill. Crazy, I know. Anyways, a reliable and friendly source in the Senate is telling me, "This is absolutely amazing. Senate Dem Leaders are twisting arms and defying Senate precedent in order to reverse an earmark reform vote that was based on Nancy Pelosi’s proposal. The irony is thick. This is happening on a bill in which Democrats are claiming to clean up a culture of corruption in Washington. It is only the 5th vote of the 110th Congress and we are back to business as usual."

UPDATE (4:29pm): It should be noted that Senate Democratic freshmen, Jim Webb and Jon Tester, voted with Republicans to not kill the proposal. Will Reid successfully whip them into changing their vote?

UPDATE (4:34pm): Harry Reid is talking right now. He just said that DeMint's proposal is disrupting the overall bill, which took a lot of time to put together. He just said that the weak earmark reform rules "were carefully vetted with weeks of work from our staff" and that it's "preferrable" to DeMint's proposal.

UPDATE (4:44pm): DeMint is speaking now. Man, the guy is a champ. He just said he felt like he was still in the House. He then compared this vote to the disgusting 3-hour vote on the Medicare drug bill in 2003. That's going to hurt the Dems in tomorrow's press if the mainstream media isn't playing favorites.

UPDATE (4:56pm): The guys at NTU are following this debate as well. Andrew Moylan writes, "Reid says the Senate earmark definition is better. If you want to have tons of undisclosed earmarks, sure."

UPDATE (5:00pm): Mark Tapscott and Americans for Prosperity are also following the debate.

UPDATE (5:04pm): The Senate is having another quorum call to bring all the Senators to the floor for a vote. The funny thing is...all the Senators are on the floor. Transparent stalling tactics.

UPDATE (5:17pm): Quorum call is still going on. Stay tuned...

UPDATE (5:32pm): I'm being told that negotiations are occurring between DeMint and the Dems. That's why the Senate has moved onto other business. This could get resolved immediately, or we could be in for a wait. More to come...

UPDATE (5:33pm): Rob Bluey at Human Events is in on the action.

UPDATE (6:02pm): Ding, ding, ding. ROUND ONE goes to DeMint and to the good guys. Senator Dianne Feinstein just announced that no more roll call votes would be taken today. Tune back into the Club's blog tomorrow for more coverage.

UPDATE (7:05pm): The Club just issued a key vote alert for DeMint's proposal.
Just wanted to note that some of the newbies threw the wrench in the works here. You know, the same folks who swore there would be no amnesties to get elected? I'm watching this with great interest.

H/T Ace

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