Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lame-Duck Session - #2486 - DREAM Act Cloture Fails, 55-41 - Hot Air (2) UPDATE: FINAL - Don't Ask Don't Tell Repeal Passes 65-31 (3) Food Safety Bill Victim of Omnibus Defeat, Incompetence - Hot Air

Another day, another waste of time by desperate Democrats in the lame-duck session: Senate Republicans have blocked a bill to grant hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children a chance to gain legal status if they enroll in college or join the military. Sponsors of what they call the Dream Act needed 60 Senate votes for it, but fell five short. The House passed the bill last week. It was a last-ditch effort to enact it before it Republicans take control of the House from Democrats in January. Daniel Foster at NRO did the head count: Among Republicans, only Sens. Bob Bennett of Utah, Richard Lugar of Indiana, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted for the bill. On the Democat side, Sens. Jon Tester of Montana, Max Baucus of Montana, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Mark Pyror of Arkansas, and Kay Hagan of North Carolina voted against the bill. In an update, Foster notes that Joe Manchin of West Virginia also opposed cloture. Like Lugar, Manchin has to stand for re-election in 2012.  Read more........


Endgame: DADT cloture vote passes 63-33 UPDATE: Final Bill passes 65-31 - Hot Air - The roll: Six Republicans — Brown, Collins, Kirk(!), Murkowski, Snowe, and Voinovich — joined 57 Democrats to push it through. (Manchin wimped out by skipping the vote on both this bill and the DREAM Act.) Last week, on the DADT amendment attached to the larger defense bill, Collins was the only Republican to vote yes; Brown and Murkowski, you’ll recall, cited procedural objections to voting on DADT before deals were reached on tax cuts and funding the government, but now that those matters have been addressed (more or less), they were free to pass this one. Kirk’s vote is a surprise just because he hasn’t been in the mix publicly among wavering fencesitters, but as a Republican from a blue state he obviously has to bank moderate cred and as a Navy intel officer his vote carries a bit of extra significance. As for Snowe, given the certainty of a serious primary challenge from conservatives, either she’s awfully principled on supporting DADT or awfully confident about beating back the tea partiers in 2012. I support the move, but if you don’t, look at it this way:   As Gates has often said, if it didn’t happen here it probably would have happened in the courts. Civilian control of the military is one thing, judicial control is something else, so the fact that repeal now wears a democratic halo will hopefully make it more tolerable to skeptics inside the branches.......Said Lindsey Graham to Obama in his floor speech today: If anything goes wrong, you own it......Update: As expected, the final bill passes easily, 65-31. I don’t have the roll yet, but someone must have switched from no on cloture to yes on the final bill because Manchin was the only Democrat who missed the earlier vote. Stand by for the tally. Update: The roll’s not available yet but the word on Twitter is that Ensign and Burr were the Republicans who switched. Manchin missed this vote too, apparently. Read entire article......

Food Safety Bill Victim of Omnibus Defeat, Incompetence - Hot Air - When Harry Reid pulled the plug on the omnibus spending bill Thursday night, he also ended his best hope of fixing a monumental blunder committed earlier in the lame-duck session. Senate Democrats bragged that they had passed a far-reaching food-safety bill opposed by conservatives for its overreach and regulatory expansion, until their counterparts in the House pronounced it dead on arrival for its unconstitutional creation of new tax policy. Reid had hoped to sneak the House version into the omnibus in order to wipe the egg off of his face, but that plan ended up under the omnibus: Reid could still move the revised bill to the floor on its own for debate, but time is now running short in the lame-duck session. Reid has spent today working on the DREAM Act, which is almost certain to go down to defeat, especially since Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) had to leave Washington due to his prostate cancer.......There is only one person to blame for Reid’s predicament: Reid. He pushed through a bill that blatantly violated the Constitution and wasted time that he should have spent on the budget. Had Reid pushed the omnibus first, instead of having it public long enough for people to peruse it thoroughly, he might have gotten both. Instead, Reid appears to have lost twice, although certainly he won’t give up trying until time runs out on the lame-duck session and Democratic machinations.  Read  more..........

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