Senate Welcomes Cory Booker With Traditional Obstructionism
Cory Booker, welcome to the Senate. On a day better known for scary costumes, you are one good-looking piece of eye-candy that we are very excited to see more of! And you were sworn in by the only man in the Senate we would like to bone more harder, Old Handsome Joe Biden, playing his oft-overlooked role of President of the Senate. What kind of treats does the Senate have in store for you today? Well, less than an hour after being sworn in, you got to cast your first votes. But your recent victory streak came to a screeching halt, per WaPo:
Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked a vote on the nomination of Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The Senate voted 56-42 to proceed to a vote on Watt's nomination -- shy of the 60 votes required to end debate.
Welcome to the Senate, Cory, where a ‘majority’ of 42 Senators get to hold up the people’s business. Democracy is a strange thing, sometimes.
What’s the big deal about the Watt nomination? First off, Mel Watt seems like a pretty awesome dude. He has served for 21 years in Congress on the Financial Services Committee. He had the support of the Congressional Black Caucus, the Mortgage Bankers Association, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and the former chairman of Bank of America. AND, he is a sitting member of Congress. Fer crissakes, why the fuck NOT vote for this guy? Is there some sort of GOP one-black-guy-a-day limit, and Cory Booker stoled that spot?
Also, this is the first time that a sitting member of Congress has been rejected by the Senate “since the Senate rejected President John Tyler’s nomination of Rep. Caleb Cushing of Massachusetts for Treasury Secretary.” For those history buffs, that was BEFORE THE MOTHERFUCKING CIVIL WAR.
The GOP mounted this filibuster despite an agreement back in July not to filibuster President Obama’s long-stalled nominees. Apparently, the GOP only keeps their word for a few months. Or maybe vows don’t mean that much, eh, Sen. Vitter? Rep. Mark Sanford?
Just to show that the GOP was for-serious about blocking nominees, the GOP also voted to filibuster D.C. Circuit Court nominee Patricia Millett. This was the court, if you remember, that the GOP argues doesn’t have a big enough workload, so why bother putting judges on it despite that pesky Constitution thingy that, you know, requires it.
So now there is talk about Stormin Mormon Harry Reid invoking the nuke-u-lar option in the Senate, and confirming these folks by a simple majority (SIREN – CRAZY IDEA OF SIMPLE MAJORITY IN A DEMOCRACY ALERT). Before the vote, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) had some thoughts on the topic, per HuffPo:
The pressure to change Senate rules and strip Republicans of their power to filibuster certain judicial nominees "would be almost insurmountable" if Republicans block Millet's confirmation vote to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Leahy said at an event advocating Millett, currently a Supreme Court appellate attorney.
The GOP is typically angerbargle about using this option, because something something minority rights, which marks a definite flip-flop for many on the minority rights issue.
So Cory Booker joins the Senate and goes 0-2 in his first two votes. If you are feeling down, Senator, you can always go to Happy Nice Time People and find some tasteful sideboob to cheer you up. Or, ‘shovel my driveway,’ wink wink.