VIDEO: Harry Reid Exposed; Democrats Filibuster Their Own Debt-Ceiling Bill! UPDATE: Republicans Reportedly Reach Compromise Deal With White House
Posted on | July 30, 2011 | 36 Comments
I could scarcely believe it when Michelle Malkin blogged this earlier: Democrats spent more than 24 hours refusing to call a cloture vote on Harry Reid’s own debt-ceiling bill. Cloture — the motion to end debate and bring a measure to a vote — requires 60 votes and, if such a vote falls short of the 60-vote threshold, debate continues and the measure is thus said to be “filibustered.”
What has actually happened since Friday, however, is not a filibuster. Democrats led by Reid, who know they don’t have 60 votes for his bill, have refused GOP calls for the cloture vote. Democrats are thus in effect filibustering their own bill!
In one of the most amazing moments in Senate history, on Saturday afternoon Harry Reid called a “live quorum” — requiring all senators to be present in the chamber — and threw what can only be described as a tantrum, demanding that the cloture rule be waived. Malkin describes what happened:
He repeated “filibuster” 100 times and even spelled it out – f-i-l-i-b-u-s-t-er.
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell asked why Reid wouldn’t allow a cloture vote on the Reid proposal at 6:30pm Eastern.
Reid let out a thin laugh and meekly said: “I object.”
This is one of those things you can’t actually believe unless you see it, so here’s the video:
You see Reid claims that Republicans are “threatening” a filibuster, but GOP leader Mitch McConnell isn’t making any threats at all — he’s just saying that the Senate should follow established procedure and have a cloture vote. Then Reid accuses Republicans of “putting lipstick” on a filibuster. As I wrote at The American Spectator:
Of course, there was not actually a filibuster. Reid simply refused to bring his own bill up for a cloture vote because he knew it would have failed to get 60 votes, thus exposing the truth that it isn’t House Republicans who are the real obstacle to passing a debt-ceiling bill. But the Democrats have invested so much propaganda in the myth of House GOP obstructionism — it’s those crazy Tea Party extremists! — that Harry had to whine, whine, whine about a “filibuster” in order to attempt to maintain the charade.
For connoisseurs of inside-the-Beltway gamesmanship, this is one of those Kodak moments you want to frame and put on the mantle.
BTW, the plan had been to bring the bill to a vote at 1 a.m. ET Sunday– an hour past midnight – but about 10 p.m. Democrats announced an adjournment until noon, with a planned vote at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.
UPDATE: You may have noticed during that video that McConnell said he’d interrupted a conversation with Vice President Joe Biden in order to meet Reid’s call for a live quorum. Now there are unconfirmed reports that a deal has been reached between the White House and GOP leaders. So this leaves Harry Reid — who had previously said his bill was “the only game in town” — playing with himself.
What a complete chump!
It’s a deal we could have reached two weeks ago, but were never going to reach until time ran out.
Of course, but that’s like complaining about having to take a girl on three dates even when you knew from the start she was never going to put out until the third date.
UPDATE III: Linked by POH Diaries — thanks!
UPDATE IV: Jennifer Rubin has details of the deal:
Two senior Republican offices have confirmed that while the outlines of a debt-ceiling deal are in place, no “paper” has been exchanged. The agreement would take the country through the 2012 election, but the Boehner bill two-step cutting process would remain. A trillion in cuts up front would be followed by $1.8 more to be determined by a bipartisan commission.
(Hat-tip: Instapundit.) The important thing: No tax increases on those “millionaires and billionaires” in “corporate jets” that Obama has been demonizing for weeks. So any conservatives in a mood to claim victory can score that a “win.”
Of course, what we’re actually going to hear from conservatives is a lot of bitter complaints about GOP sellouts, while liberals whine about weak-kneed Obama “caving” to right-wing extremists.