by Chris Cillizza • Washington Post
One of the strangest incidents of the 2012 presidential campaign was when then-Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid accused then-Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney of having not paid any taxes over the past decade. That Reid made that allegation from the floor of the Senate made it even odder.
The problem with Reid’s allegation? It’s just not true. We know that, at least in 2011 and 2010, Romney did pay taxes. How do we know that? Because Romney released his tax returns for those years. In 2011, Romney paid $1.9 million in taxes; in 2010, he paid slightly more than $3 million in taxes.
Our own Fact Checker gave Reid Four Pinocchios for his “no taxes” claim. PolitiFact gave the claim a “Pants on Fire” rating. Continue reading
by Mark Pfeifle • RealClearPolitics
The United States Senate should have a busy schedule when it comes back into session this week. Atrocities in the Middle East and the Ukraine, a stagnant economy, a 2015 budget bill and potential government shutdown—there’s no shortage of pressing topics for the world’s greatest deliberative body to debate and discuss.
But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has a different to-do list. His first order of business is a constitutional amendment that would all but repeal the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech.
The Senate will vote this week on Senator Tom Udall’s (D-NM) constitutional amendment that would give Congress unlimited power to regulate—and control—how individual Americans spend money while speaking out about politicians and government. Continue reading
by Byron York • Washington Examiner
There’s a lot lawmakers need to do when the Senate returns from its August recess Sept. 9. To take just one example, the government is set to run out of money by the end of the month, and senators must pass a measure to keep funding going and avoid a shutdown.
But the Senate will have almost no time to do anything. “Following the August recess, we’re going to be here for two weeks and two days,” Majority Leader Harry Reid told colleagues before the break, according to an account in The Hill. “That’s not a lot of time for the workload we have to do.” Continue reading
A proposed Constitutional amendment would give Congress authority to regulate every dollar…
While much of Washington grapples with international crises, chronic economic troubles, and upcoming midterm elections, Senate Democrats are steadily pushing forward with what they hope will become the 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
The proposed amendment would give Congress authority to regulate every dollar raised, and every dollar spent, by every federal campaign and candidate in the country. It would give state legislatures the power to do the same with state races.
Framed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as a response to campaign spending by the conservative billionaire Koch brothers, the proposed amendment, written by Democratic Senators Tom Udall and Michael Bennet and co-sponsored by 42 other Senate Democrats, would vastly increase the power of Congress to control elections and political speech. Continue reading
by Michael Barone
They celebrated especially the freedom accorded those with unpopular beliefs and protested attempts to squelch the expression of differing opinions.
Today things are different. American liberals are not challenging the Supreme Court rulings extending First Amendment protection to nude dancers, flag burners and students wearing antiwar armbands. They are content to leave these as forms of protected free speech. Continue reading
What protections are there for the tax-paying American citizen from a tyrannical bully if that bully happens to be a member of Congress using his powerful position to slander, smear and slime that citizen’s character and motives? Nothing, apparently.
When the founders included the “Speech or Debate” clause in the U.S. Constitution, they wanted to protect members of Congress from the whims of any outside tyrant who might abuse the power of his office to harass, control or destroy his political enemies.
Today, in this putrid era of Senate history, we realize it was a gross oversight that the founders did not extend such protections to ordinary private citizens from members of Congress. Even in their deep cynicism about the human nature of politicians, the founders apparently never dreamed that a man like Majority Leader Harry Reid would one day control the U.S. Senate.
The specific purpose of Article 1, Section 6, of the Constitution was to ensure that lawmakers could carry out their duties in Congress without being delayed, arrested or jailed on trumped-up charges by political enemies.
Further, “for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.” Continue reading
Obama and Reid exhibit a shameless willingness to argue that their filibusters of Bush’s nominees were principled and substantive dissent which the Constitution was designed to protect and also argue that the GOP’s filibusters of Obama nominees is purely craven partisan politics and certainly not what the Constitution intended. Their duplicity is shocking even by the relatively duplicitous norms of Washington, D.C.
The Senate has agreed to Majority Leader Harry Reid’s “nuclear option” rule change which ends filibusters of judicial nominations by allowing 51 Senators to confirm judges. Shortly after the Senate vote, President Obama expressed his support for the rule change. Now might be a good time to look at how the position of both Reid and Obama has evolved since the days when they were both in the minority of the Senate and George W. Bush was in the White House.
The record reveals that both Harry Reid and Barack Obama made one argument when they the Democrats were blocking George Bush’s nominees and made an entirely opposite argument when the Republicans are blocking Obama’s nominees. (For the record, the important nominations that the GOP is currently blocking are for open slots that went unfilled when George Bush was president because the Democrats filibustered his nominations throughout this presidency. Thus, today those openings are still there. Now Democrats change the rules because they say that filibustering a Democratic nominee is wrong and partisan, when filibustering a GOP nominee only a few years ago was the expression of important political dissent.) Continue reading