More evasive shenanigans in the Senate

posted at 9:30 pm on May 26, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced this evening the Senate will meet in a pro forma session next week, rather than adjourn for recess. The move enables Reid to evade budget-related pressure.

Earlier today, nearly every Republican senator, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), sent a letter to Reid to remind him of the Senate’s responsibility to at least mark up a budget resolution, which the Senate Budget Committee has not done, and to request that Reid delay the recess until Senate Democrats produce a substantive budget proposal. The letter stated:

[T]he Senate plans to adjourn for a week-long recess on Friday to coincide with Memorial Day, a holiday that honors our men and women in uniform. As our service members put their lives on the line to defend this nation, surely the least Congress can do is produce a plan to confront the debt that is placing the whole country at risk. House Republicans put forward just such a budget weeks ago—a plan for prosperity to overcome this nation’s dangerously rising debt, cut wasteful Washington spending, and make our economy more competitive.

But, in this time of economic danger, the Senate continues to stonewall any and all action on a FY2012 budget. For this reason, we respectfully request that you delay any adjournment of this body until you or members of your party in the Senate bring forward a budget resolution and schedule a meeting of the Budget Committee—a power which resides solely with the majority—to work on that budget.

Clearly, Reid had no intention of delaying the recess to work on the budget. But why a pro forma session? Had Reid asked for unanimous consent to adjourn, Republicans would have objected, which would have put the recess to a vote. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, promised that. But the 53 Democrats in the Senate could still have successfully voted to adjourn. Either Reid wanted to shield himself and his Democratic colleagues from a difficult vote that would have revealed the extent of their budget apathy — or he feared a few Democrats would break with the party and vote to stay in session. Either way, the decision seems to disregard the gravity of the looming budget crisis.

Or, as Sessions put it, “The Majority Leader’s decision not to bring adjournment to a vote — but instead to hold a series of pro forma sessions — is a stark admission that the Democrat Senate cannot justify to the American people its unwillingness to work on a budget.”

At least Reid’s decision to move to a pro forma session has one undeniable upside: No recess appointments.

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Why isn’t the House adjourning then?

Rocks on May 26, 2011 at 9:35 PM

What in hell is Reid good for . . . he’s a total obstructionist, even with his own president. On the other hand the rest of his Party is no better, they let him continue as the senate leader. This poor sick Republic is going down the tube at warp speed.

rplat on May 26, 2011 at 9:39 PM

At least this will keep Obambi from making any more stupid recess appointments.

rmgraha on May 26, 2011 at 9:40 PM

“At least Reid’s decision to move to a pro forma session has one undeniable upside: No recess appointments.”

The reason that Senate is not adjourning is because the House sent a letter to Reid notifying him they would not be sending an adjournment resolution to the Senate. Correct me if I’m wrong, but one Chamber can’t adjourn on it’s own and I think the House is the one that decides, so Reid was stuck.

The House Republicans’ decision to keep the session open was specifically to prevent Obama from making recess appointments.

Dusty on May 26, 2011 at 9:40 PM

We must keep working so that nothing can be done.

KW64 on May 26, 2011 at 9:41 PM

I don’t know what is more disgusting, the Democrats for refusing to do their jobs or the country for not outright revolting.

whbates on May 26, 2011 at 9:42 PM

That shut down of the government that didn’t happen a few months ago, all of a sudden looks like a really good idea. Is it permissible under the law to have recall elections on federal employees?

Tommy_G on May 26, 2011 at 9:45 PM

Ahhh, there it is. Neither Chamber can adjourn for more than three days without the other chamber’s permission.

Dusty on May 26, 2011 at 9:48 PM

Effin douchebag and his effin douchebag cohorts.

I’ll join whbates in wondering how far America has regressed in not storming the halls of Congress to drag Reid and others of his ilk into the street for public denouncement.

Bishop on May 26, 2011 at 9:48 PM

I thought the world was gonna end after mid-May or something? Debt ceiling and all? We’re still here.

SouthernGent on May 26, 2011 at 9:48 PM

pro forma indeed. Some one should hang a “help wanted” sign on the Senate chambers door every day Harry has not produced a budget resolution.

Rovin on May 26, 2011 at 9:56 PM

Harry Reid is a disgusting political hack. The citizens of Nevada that voted for him should be ashamed of themselves. He needs to be publicly humiliated for his shameful behavior.

ClanDerson on May 26, 2011 at 9:59 PM

Speaking of dingy Harry:


(Reason)Mitch McConnell Comes Out Against Rand Paul’s Gun Amendment

(Gun Owners of America)Harry Reid Employs Sleazy Tactics to Block Pro-gun Rand Paul amendment

As you know, Rand Paul’s amendment would exempt 4473’s (the form all purchasers fill out when they buy a firearm from a licensed dealer) and other gun records from the blanket information demands which Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) can make under the 9/11 legislation.

Without Paul’s exemption, it is possible that the BATFE could go to a secret (FISA) court, and, in a one-party (ex parte) proceeding, obtain an order to produce every 4473 in the country, ostensibly because a “terrorism investigation” requires it. If such an action were taken, the government would have a list of every gun buyer in the country going back decades.

Insert witty screen name here on May 26, 2011 at 10:01 PM

The Dems electoral strategy apparently is to run as the party out of power. Let the Republicans make all of the proposals. Attack their proposals, but don’t offer any of your own.

Hey, it worked for them in 2006. Why govern if it’s going to make it harder for you to get re-elected.

PackerBronco on May 26, 2011 at 10:04 PM

If such an action were taken, the government would have a list of every gun buyer in the country going back decades.
Insert witty screen name here on May 26, 2011 at 10:01 PM

They already have that list of gun owners who purchased on the grid

darwin-t on May 26, 2011 at 10:06 PM

If such an action were taken, the government would have a list of every gun buyer in the country going back decades.
Insert witty screen name here on May 26, 2011 at 10:01 PM

List away, most of my guns were lost in a tragic Lake Superior boating accident.

Bishop on May 26, 2011 at 10:06 PM

List away, most of my guns were lost in a tragic Lake Superior boating accident.

Bishop on May 26, 2011 at 10:06 PM

Did your Farmers policy cover ny of your losses?

darwin-t on May 26, 2011 at 10:11 PM

Well, it is Bush’s fault.

tinkerthinker on May 26, 2011 at 10:17 PM

Did your Farmers policy cover ny of your losses?
darwin-t on May 26, 2011 at 10:11 PM

Farmers uses a homeowners insurance rider to cover such things as guns and jewelry, which in turn requires detailed information of items being insured such as serial numbers and manufacturer.

So no, when the tragic boating accident occurred and my guns joined the Edmund Fitzgerald at the bottom of Lake Superior, there was no monetary compensation from an insurance company.

I cried. Now I’m over it.

Bishop on May 26, 2011 at 10:18 PM

They already have that list of gun owners who purchased on the grid

darwin-t on May 26, 2011 at 10:06 PM

I guess that’s what they meant by ‘Under the radar’ gun control.

Registration lists via the 4473’s and the Patriot Act.

Too bad a lot of that information is old and outdated.

However, it raises one Question: What’s to stop them from going through those records and rousting anyone who may be on a watchlist?

Colbyjack on May 26, 2011 at 10:19 PM

Something tells me Reid is ‘Depends’ biggest customer. Otherwise, he’d have a constant wet spot on his pants.

capejasmine on May 26, 2011 at 10:51 PM

Why is it that the Dems can get away with not proposing a budget, as mandated by law?

Why is this not a big deal?

Aquateen Hungerforce on May 26, 2011 at 11:04 PM

Thank you Nevada voters!

GarandFan on May 26, 2011 at 11:30 PM

More evasive shenanigans in the Senate

Democrats, shenanigans, one and the same.

rukiddingme on May 27, 2011 at 12:05 AM

Sorry, Tina. But you’re up against Palin.

Lanceman on May 27, 2011 at 1:05 AM

is a stark admission that the Democrat Senate cannot justify to the American people its unwillingness to work on a budget.”

zing!

cmsinaz on May 27, 2011 at 7:19 AM

Aquateen Hungerforce on May 26, 2011 at 11:04 PM

THIS….

LSM my friend, LSM

cmsinaz on May 27, 2011 at 7:20 AM

Speaking of dingy Harry:

(Reason)Mitch McConnell Comes Out Against Rand Paul’s Gun Amendment

(Gun Owners of America)Harry Reid Employs Sleazy Tactics to Block Pro-gun Rand Paul amendment

As you know, Rand Paul’s amendment would exempt 4473’s (the form all purchasers fill out when they buy a firearm from a licensed dealer) and other gun records from the blanket information demands which Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) can make under the 9/11 legislation.

Without Paul’s exemption, it is possible that the BATFE could go to a secret (FISA) court, and, in a one-party (ex parte) proceeding, obtain an order to produce every 4473 in the country, ostensibly because a “terrorism investigation” requires it. If such an action were taken, the government would have a list of every gun buyer in the country going back decades.

Insert witty screen name here on May 26, 2011 at 10:01 PM

Shhh, don’t you know that Obama is keeping his anti-gun activities “under the radar” for now? Can’t have those rubes who believe in the Second Amendment ruin his chances in 2012- you’ll have to wait until after the election to find out what legislation Obama has in store for the country. Kinda like Obamacare- you have to pass it to see what’s in it.

Jay Mac on May 27, 2011 at 7:27 AM

12 Happy 9th birthday, Daily Kos!

http://conservativeblogscentral.blogspot.com/2011/05/12-happy-9th-birthday-daily-kos.html

Nearly Nobody on May 27, 2011 at 7:34 AM