Twisting The Vise On Senate Republicans

Last week, we learned that Senate Majority Leader Reid would be collecting various bills "held" by Tom Coburn and combining them into one package - forcing Senate Republicans to either vote with the needs of their constituents on good legislation...or sacrifice themselves out of loyalty to one colleague's obstructionism.

And since many of the bills were bipartisan, quite a few Republican Senators will find themselves in the awkward position of either voting for the legislation they introduced, or selling out their constituencies to play politics and vote with Coburn.

Here, in no particular order, is a list of such Senators, and the legislation they partnered on:

Senator Thad Cochran - introduced - Stroke Treatment and Ongoing Prevention Act (S. 999/HR 477)

Sen. Christopher S. Bond - introduced - Vision Care for Kids Act (HR 507/S. 1117)

Sen. Sam Brownback- introduced- Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act (S. 1810/HR 3112)

Sen Domenici, Pete V - introduced - Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Reauthorization and Improvement Act (S. 2304/HR 3992)

Sen Vitter, David - introduced - Enhancing the Effective Prosecution of Child Pornography (S. 2869/HR 4136)

Sen Lugar, Richard G. - introduced - Reconstruction and Stabilization Civilian Management Act (HR 1084/S. 613)

Sen Coleman, Norm - introduced - Torture Victims Relief Reauthorization Act (HR 1678/S. 840)

Sen Stevens, Ted - introduced - Ocean Exploration, Mapping & Research (HR 1834/HR 2400/S. 39)

Sen Snowe, Olympia J. - introduced - Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act (S. 950/HR 2342)

Sen Voinovich, George V. - introduced - Appalachian Regional Development Act Amendments of 2008 (S. 496)

Coburn blocked every one of those bills - and every one of them will be in Reid's package next week.

Republicans in the Senate played politics with their power as long as they could. But now they're very, very unpopular, and their party's brand is in the gutter. Putting politics over substance by standing with Coburn may have been possible for this bunch even a year ago.

But now? Just yesterday Chuck Schumer said for the first time that achieving a 60-seat majority this cycle will be "difficult...but its not out of the question." Republicans are out of gas. Next week, we'll find out if they realize it.

Update [2008-7-24 12:1:11 by Josh Orton]: Senate whip Dick Durbin on the package:

"If you want to oppose this package, you're opposing a lot of things, including things that most Americans believe overwhelmingly should be part of our law — to protect against child pornography, to deal with the drug problem in our country, to try to find runaway children, to prosecute those who are guilty of civil rights crimes," Durbin said.


"If you want to cast your vote against it, I'm sure there will be many people at home with a lot of questions," he said.

Tags: Harry Reid, Tom Coburn (all tags)



If Reid was more ballsy

and took the rethugs to task more often, I think a 60 seat majority would be more likely than just "not out of the question"

by sepulvedaj3 2008-07-24 07:46AM | 0 recs
"not out of the question"

Schumer has to understate the case. Boasting about a near certain wipeout would help rally dispirited GOP voters.

by Beren 2008-07-24 08:08AM | 0 recs
Re: If Reid was more ballsy

While I DO agree Reid needs to be more ballsy, your statement is a bit stupid to make... lets be completely honest; 10 seats in 1 cycle is not easy even in the BEST of years.... there is no evidence that Reid being more ballsy would give us the 10 seat gain we need to get to 60 votes AND jettison Lieberman.

Heck, even in the dark year known as 1994, the GOP "only" gained 8 seats...  although two traitors made it a plus 10 gain for a little while until Packwood left and was replaced by Wyden in Oregon.

The most in the last 50 years are the Dem +16 in 1958

Big gains of +8 or more include +8 by the Dems in 1986, +12 by in 1980, and +8 in 1994 by the GOP.  So 4 times in 25 Senate election cycles.  

I hope we do it, but it will be tough.  However, 2010 is a real possibility to extend to 60 for at least 1 cycle before we have to start playing defense.

by yitbos96bb 2008-07-24 08:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Twisting The Vise On Senate Republicans

Wow.  Reid is doing something?  I may faint.

by scytherius 2008-07-24 07:51AM | 0 recs

i wonder if it will even be effective.

by sepulvedaj3 2008-07-24 07:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Twisting The Vise On Senate Republicans

There's little that's more satisfying than seeing Repthuglicans being hoisted on their own petards.

by Beren 2008-07-24 08:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Twisting The Vise On Senate Republicans

I'll be a pedant for a moment. "Hoist" is already past tense. Present tense in Shakespeare's time (the most famous use of the phrase is from Hamlet) was "hoise."

by anoregonreader 2008-07-24 08:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Twisting The Vise On Senate Republicans

Thank you. That's very interesting.

by Beren 2008-07-24 10:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Twisting The Vise On Senate Republicans
I should have known that miost of the comments on REid's actions would be rife with backhanded compliments.
That's about the best he can hope for from "Democrats for Mich McConnell", I men,  the liberal blogosphere.
by spirowasright 2008-07-24 08:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Twisting The Vise On Senate Republicans

You must expect people who have been betrayed by their own leaders as many times as Democrats have over recent years to be cynical about them.

by Beren 2008-07-24 10:41AM | 0 recs
Where is S-CHIP?

Isn't it about time to give the Republicans another chance to vote against the nation's kids? Or does that opportunity come post-convention?

by redstater 2008-07-24 08:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Twisting The Vise On Senate Republicans

Who in gods name is against harsher and more effective prosecution of Child Pornography?  Seriously...

by yitbos96bb 2008-07-24 08:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Twisting The Vise On Senate Republicans

will this be known as "Harry's Ball Clamp Attack"? Twist it real, real tight for maximum pleasure :)

by zerosumgame 2008-07-24 08:42AM | 0 recs


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