Senators are suffering from cabin fever — and it has nothing to do with the snowstorm that socked Washington over the weekend.Democrat hypocrisy continues. As Sen. Mitch McConnell said:
A marathon session of early-morning, late-night and weekend votes — all coming after senators are typically home for the holidays — has everyone on edge in the cooped-up Capitol, with testy exchanges and harsh recriminations replacing the clubby decorum that usually prevails in the Senate.
Republicans fumed last week when Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) revealed the contents of a private conversation with Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) in a fiercely critical speech on the floor. Democrats boiled over when Republicans forced them to bring in the ailing Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) for a 1 a.m. cloture vote on defense spending.
“It’s been brutal,” Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said, adding that the intense year-end push has created a “very high” level of distrust between members from different parties.
Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) — the second-longest-serving senator — said the schedule has taken its toll “physically” and, “at times, domestically.” “Wives don’t appreciate it,” Inouye said.
Neither, it seems, do the senators.
At a private meeting the day after the Franken-Thune incident, senior Republicans complained among themselves about what they viewed as a double breach of protocol: Franken had discussed a private conversation in a floor speech and, as a freshman, had taken a direct shot at a GOP leader.
"And here’s the most outrageous part: at the end of this rush, they want us to vote on a bill that no one outside the Majority Leader’s conference room has even seen. That’s right. The final bill we’ll vote on isn’t even the one we’ve had on the floor. It’s the deal Democrat leaders have been trying to work out in private."Wake up, America!
So the country club atmosphere in the Senate is gone thanks to the presence of someone like Al Franken who is not about being diplomatic. Democrats are playing their old tricks and finally Republicans are standing up to them and returning the favor.
... the two sides can’t even agree on why senators are stuck in Washington when most of them want to be home with their families. Republicans blame Democrats for attempting to push through the sweeping health care bill on an arbitrary deadline before Christmas Day. Democrats say the Republicans have used stalling tactics to prolong the debate.Democrats whine because Republicans won't roll over and accept their bill. Republicans have found their collective backbone:
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) infuriated Democrats last week when — with McConnell’s blessing — he objected to waiving the reading of a 767-page amendment, tying up the Senate for three hours until a furious Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) withdrew the measure from consideration.Good. Let's hope the Republicans play out those fireworks ... and our thanks to those who plan to light the fuses.
Asked about the atmosphere in the chamber, Coburn said: “People are tired.” But Coburn added that there are more fireworks to come.
“It’s not edgy yet,” he said. “I think it will get that way.”
Here's the Democrat Play Book for this week. Keep up the pressure ... please call our senators and tell them NO to nationalized health care.
-- MONDAY, DEC 21st -- 1 am -- Cloture vote on manager's amendment. (This is Reid's secret deal that will serve as a substitute for the decoy that was the 2,074-page bill the Senate has been debating for the past three weeks.)Keep up the pressure ... no socialized health care ... please call our senators and sign the petition.
--TUESDAY, DEC 22nd --7 am -- Cloture vote on full substitute bill
--WEDNESDAY, DEC 23rd -- 1 pm -- Cloture vote on overall bill
--THURSDAY, CHRISTMAS EVE -- 7 pm -- Final passage vote on health care reform -- THEY ONLY NEED 51 VOTES TO PASS IT THEN!
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