Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) has been Senate Majority Leader since January 2007 when the Democrats took over the Senate numbers. In January 2009 when Obama was sworn into office and many of us just swore, the Democrats controlled the Oval Office and both houses of Congress. They were a happy bunch of liberals that did just about anything then wanted, liked passing Obamacare against the wishes of nearly 75% of the American people.
In January 2011, the Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives and life was no longer so rosy for Harry Reid and the Democrats. Reid soon found that the House Republicans stood up to him and President Obama on a number of issues, (although not enough issues if you ask me), and they could no longer pass all of their liberal and socialist bills like they had for the past two years.
The Democrats tried to push jobs bills through Congress, but the House GOP fought them because they would destroy jobs instead of creating them. The same thing happened with the fiscal cliff issues and other bills.
In the Senate, Harry Reid was getting frustrated because some of the bills that he sponsored or supported were being blocked by Republican filibusters. Both Democrats and Republicans have used filibusters to stop bills in the past. But Harry Reid didn’t like it when they stopped his bills. He said that wasn’t playing fair and he went to his chambers and pouted.
When he emerged from his chambers, he had an idea that would make him happy. He would create a plan that would give him near dictatorial power in the Senate and then he could go to his merry way of screwing the American people. He called it ‘filibuster reform’ and it involved the following three proposals:
Make it easier for one party to pass legislation, even if half the Senate disagrees: To stop debate on a contentious issue, 60 votes are now required. But the proposal being floated would create a way for the Majority Leader to pass any proposal with only 51 votes.
Create four “Super Senators” who hold the true power: Only four Senators would be able to offer amendments to legislation, effectively shutting out the other 96 from the legislative process.
Special power for the Majority Leader: The Majority Leader (now Reid) would have the special authority to add an amendment after debate is finished on a particular bill. Combined with the 51-vote threshold, this change would allow the Majority Leader to jam through just about anything without the Senate even debating it.
It’s interesting how people change when they gain power and Harry Reid is no different. In 2005, the Republicans controlled the Senate and Reid was the Senate Minority Leader. Being in the minority, Reid liked being able to use filibusters and avidly defended their use. When Republicans suggested changing the rules on the use of filibusters, Reid stood up against the measure and stated:
“Not only is there a suggestion about changing the rules, but they are going to do it by breaking the rules. To change a rule here in the Senate takes a simple majority. But if somebody wants to speak in an extensive manner relating to that rule change, you have to break a filibuster. They are not willing to do that. They are going to use brute force and break the rules to change the rules. That is what they are talking about.”
“One of the good things about this institution we have found in the 214 years it has been in existence is that the filibuster, which has been in existence since the beginning, from the days of George Washington—we have changed the rules as relates [sic] to it a little bit but never by breaking the rules. I say to my distinguished friend, the senior Senator from Illinois, in all the political writings about filibuster, that is one of the things they talk about as a positive. It forces people to get together because sometimes in this body you become very fixed.”
However, now that the tables are turned, Harry Reid has the majority and the Republicans are following his example of using filibusters, he wants to make similar rule changes that he so adamantly opposed just 7 years ago. You see, Harry Reid doesn’t like playing fair by the same rules that he had to play to with when he wasn’t in the majority. He doesn’t only want to change the rules, he wants to put himself in the position of Senate Dictator where he would be able to attach any piece of legislation he wanted to any bill AFTER it had been approved by the rest of the Senate. In other words, he wants the same power that Obama has with his executive orders. Hopefully, there are enough senators with half a brain that will stop Harry Reid and his dictatorial plans.