21.02.2018
Senate Republicans still pondering rules change that will do nothing to fix their McConnell problem

Senate Republicans still pondering rules change that will do nothing to fix their McConnell problem

A bunch of disgruntled Republican senators are still agitating for a rules change because they aren't getting the stuff they want to see on the Senate floor. For example, this guy:

Pennsylvania Republican Patrick J. Toomey said Wednesday that he has been pushing his party to consider procedural changes to allow appropriations bills to get to the floor without needing the customary 60 votes.

“I have stood up in conference on a number of occasions and reminded my colleagues that the idea that we tolerate a minority of senators blocking our most fundamental responsibility, which is to spend the taxpayers’ money to fund the government, blocking us from even considering the legislation that’s required to do that, and therefore we wind up with our back up against the wall at the end of the fiscal year and we hand over all kinds of leverage to [Senate Minority Leader] Chuck Schumer to decide under what circumstances he will agree, this is madness,” he said. “And there’s absolutely no excuse for it.”

Toomey, who was speaking on conservative host Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, suggested he would back using the “nuclear option” to allow 51 senators to set a simple-majority requirement for debating spending bills.

In 2017, just six out of 12 Senate committees even managed to take votes on their spending bills. So he needs to back up the train a little bit to where shit is really broken. Then there's their crocodile tears over nominations (Merrick Garland, anyone) that just aren't moving fast enough for most of these guys. Because they want those nominees in there destroying government sooner.

All this whining about process is fine. Absolutely go nuclear Republicans, since a Democratic majority is staring you in the face within a couple of cycles. But unless they decide that 45 votes is the new majority, it's not going to work. (It's also not going to work because there aren't 51 Republicans who would go for it right now. And technically, there are only 50 GOP votes at the moment, as it seems unlikely John McCain will be able to return.)

The problem isn't the Democrats. It's the Majority Leader. The handful of spending bills that committees finished with but that didn't get to the floor can't be blamed on Democrats, because what did McConnell decide to spend most of 2017 on? Stuff that didn't go through ANY committee—Trumpcare and the tax bill. Those two things took weeks and weeks. That was his priority. Then they had something like four short-term spending bills they had to deal with because despite a unified government they couldn't even come up with a budget!

And what's McConnell got slated to come up, besides—yes—nominees? An unconstitutional abortion ban bill. Which you can bet all these Republicans whining about the important stuff not getting to the floor are going to vote for.