Hey Hey! Democrats Now Actually Going To Try To Pass Stuff!
In the past week or two, we have brought you some exciting, fun stories about how Democrats were probably going to caveon the Bush tax cuts and probably going to cave on repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." But somehow it has finally started to get through to Democrats that, despite what the Republicans do, passing laws is the point of their job, so they're going to give it their all in these final weeks of the year to try to actually pass these things the way they want them passed. And who is the senator with backbone leading the charge on one of these important pieces of legislation? Joe Lieberman. WHAT IS HAPPENING? THIS DOESN'T SOUND LIKE OUR CONGRESS.
Reid said he would hold multiple votes on extending just the middle-class tax cuts, a hard-ball political tactic not often used in lame-duck sessions, which lawmakers have traditionally struck compromises to mop up unfinished business.
“As you know, my friend Senator McConnell (R-Ky.) has offered legislation to extend them all, costing $4 trillion,” Reid said Thursday afternoon. “If he wants a vote on that, I’ll be happy to help arrange that. But he should also help arrange a vote on 250, period.
“We want to give Republicans an opportunity to vote on McConnell’s legislation and we want opportunity and maybe plural to vote once, twice, whatever it takes to show the American people we support the middle class,” Reid said.
"Motherfuckers," Reid continued. Yes, perhaps this is not the ballsiest move in the history of Congress. But it's odd to see Reid's name and "hard-ball political tactic" in the same sentence when we're actually talking about governance and not running for office. This whole "actually forcing a vote on this even if we're scared like always" thing is very new. It's like coming back home for the holidays when you're 30 and suddenly hearing your mom use swear words in every other sentence.
On Thursday, in a show of resolve, 13 Democratic senators led by Mr. Lieberman held a news conference to proclaim that they had secured the needed votes, including crucial support from Republicans, provided that Mr. Reid did not overly restrict the length of debate or the number of amendments to be proposed. [...]
“The movement to end the injustice of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is alive and well and we are going to keep fighting — in the spirit of the American military — until we get the job done,” he said. “And we will get the job done.” He conceded, however, that he had made no progress in persuading Mr. McCain, a close friend of his, to withdraw his opposition.
Lieberman? Joe Lieberman? And now, it turns out, by actually bringing this bill to a vote, they've forced Lisa Murkowski to say she will not vote against the defense authorization.
They'd better hurry up and pass this stuff, because by the looks of everyone, with their suit pants on their torsos and their suit jackets covering their legs, it's merely "Opposite Day" in Congress. [The Hill/NYT]