Why I Wish Republicans Were More Like Harry Reid

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) (photo credit: Center for American Progress Action Fund via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0)

I really wish Republicans were more like outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.

In a wide-ranging interview with Talking Points Memo, a left-wing news outlet, Reid (D-Nev.) proudly declared that he is setting the stage for the Democrats to eliminate the 60-vote filibuster rule should they win control of the Senate in November, allowing for the confirmation of Supreme Court justices with a simple majority:

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.

Continue Reading

Democrats Obstruct Zika Funding Bill, Blame GOP for Obstructionism

U.S. Capitol Building

For nearly three months now, Congress has been unable to pass a bill funding the fight against the Zika epidemic. This is not because no such bill exists; the House passed one in June which would provide $1.1 billion in funding to combat the virus’ spread. Senate Democrats have blocked the bill, however, for the simple reason that none of the funds would go to Profamilias, the Puerto Rican wing of Planned Parenthood.

That’s all. The bill does not remove any funding from the group. In fact, it doesn’t do anything to impact their bottom line at all, which seems to be the reason that Senate Democrats have blocked its passage twice. Apparently, the fact that Planned Parenthood doesn’t get a cut of the money is enough to stall the emergency funding for the entire summer.

Even more bizarre is the fact that funding Profamilias wouldn’t strengthen the fight against the disease in the slightest. PolitiFact noted in June that the bill already includes funding for clinics in every area where Profamilias lists a facility. (Loyal partisans that they are, PolitiFact somehow still managed to rate the Democrats’ contradictory claim as “half true.”) The New York Times, of all places, notes in addition that the group “provides medical services almost entirely out of its two clinics in San Juan,” where it “served about 7,000 patients in 2015 […] not a particularly large number, given that about 390,000 people” live there. According to a program director at Profamilias, the clinics don’t even offer Zika testing. Continue Reading