Harry Reid's attempt to hijack a $726,000,000,000 defense spending bill was narrowly blocked today as all Republicans in the Senate were joined by 2 Democrats in opposing him. The vote was 56-43, leaving Democrats 4 short of the magic '60' number. What disgusts me is that he did this, that Obama helped him do this, and more Democrats didn't rise up against it.
Reid tacked on an amendment, called DREAM, that is designed to grant easy citizenship to illegal immigrants who came here as children. This was a blatant attempt to buy off Hispanic voters in the upcoming mid-term election. He is in a dead heat with a Tea Party candidate for the Senate seat he currently infests. Hispanic turnout, particularly illegal, fraudulent voters, are a key to his hopes to survive the election.
Another amendment, one to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell in the entire military was also added by Democrats. It was seen as the last chance to repeal the law during this Congress. Apparetnly the issue wasn't important enough to Obama and Congressional leadership to bring it up on its own for a vote, so they tried to sneak it in this way.
Another Democrat amendment to force overseas military installations to provide abortion on demand services was included as well.
Reid limited debate on the amendments, basically forbidding anyone from taking to the floor of the Senate to discuss them. He also blocked any Republican amendments to the bill, shutting them completely out of the process.
Several of the NO votes were cast because of the dirty tricks Reid had implemented to try and force the bill through.
Let's see ... Illegal immigration ... Gays in the military ... federally funded abortion ... Exactly the kind of stuff that should be in a defense spending bill, according to Democrats.
No matter what your beliefs are in those three issues, they all deserve legislation of their own, openly debated in Congress, out in the light for all to see, with open and direct votes on each. The attempt to try and slime these by while keeping them out of view is deplorable.
What Reid did is within the rules of the Senate. The ruling party pretty much can do whatever they want - that's the rule, and it has existed for a long, long time. However, I cannot honestly remember any such outrageous attempts during Republican control of the Senate.