Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has had enough of GOP obstruction. He’s not even going nuclear—oh, no. Reid is threatening to kill Christmas for Senators if they won’t do their job.
On the Senate floor today, Reid took Republicans to task for dragging their feet on Obama’s nominees. If they want to drag things out until Christmas Eve, that’s fine with Harry, but he’s going to keep the Senate open until the Republicans do their job.
Reid countered the Republican narrative that the posts are “non-essential” (a silly and inaccurate argument) per his prepared remarks, “None of these posts are “non-essential.” On the contrary, these are absolutely essential nominees. It is their job to carry out justice, to protect our country and to safeguard our economy. It is the Senate’s job to confirm them. How long it will take the Senate to complete that job is up to my Republican friends.”
Reid took the Republicans’ obstruction head on, “I read that the Republican leadership may also force the Senate to work through the weekend and into next week by dragging out the consideration of several important executive nominations. The Senate could wrap up work on the budget bill, pass the Defense Authorization legislation and confirm these nominees by Thursday afternoon. The only thing keeping us here is more Republican obstruction.”
Non-essential? Not so much. Reid, in his usual understated way, said he was “troubled” to hear the Republican Leader say that the nominations are “non-essential.” He drove home the point, “Does the Republican Leader consider the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security – the individual tasked with protecting us from terrorist attacks – “non-essential?” Does the Republican Leader consider the Secretary of the Air Force or the diplomats who run the State Department “non-essential?” Does the Republican Leader consider the judges that try criminal and civil cases in overcrowded courtrooms across the nation “non-essential?””
Reid listed other Republican “non-essentials” like the chairman of the Federal Reserve, “who sets this nation’s monetary policy” and the director for the Internal Revenue Service and the deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Then there’s a district court seat that “has been declared a judicial emergency. His nomination has been pending for almost two years.” Oh, gee, nothing to see here. Must get home for Christmas after dragging feet Boehner style.
Republicans are threatening to boycott their own jobs if they have to work over Christmas, according to Politico. So, would that be like a labor strike? Just asking.
Working over Christmas is for You People. Not for them. They have no problem leaving these “non-essential” positions vacant, just like they left airport security vacant for years, no doubt hoping for an incident they could pin on Obama. Do we really need a deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security? If not, Republicans would do well to remember this come appropriations time.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
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