Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has scheduled a Monday evening vote to cut off debate on taking up a proposal sponsored by Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M. to amend the constitution to effectively overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC.
The Septuagenarian Ninja Turtle, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, promises a GOP filibuster on behalf of his über-rich corporate Plutocrat masters to thwart the will of the American people. In new polling (.pdf) released last Wednesday, voters from both parties supported, by large margins, taking legal action to weaken the roll of money in politics. “Watershed” Vote On Overturning Citizens United:
That survey, which was dually carried out by one liberal and one conservative polling agency, found that Republicans supported such action by a margin of two to one. Further, voters of all ideological backgrounds opposed electoral spending by lobbyists and special interests, with Republicans even edging out Democrats 79 to 76 percent.
Mitch McConnell and his GOP toadies in the Senate say “fuck you” America. “We will obstruct the will of the American people.”
Roll Call reports, McConnell Hints at Prolonged Campaign Finance Debate:
Senate Democrats are facing the prospect of Republicans voting to prolong debate on a campaign finance constitutional amendment, a move that could interfere with Democrats’ plans for a barrage of pre-election votes on issues from student loans to the minimum wage to equal pay for women.
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Republicans vehemently oppose the amendment and it seemed, at least at the outset, that Democrats were planning for a quick defeat.
“Their goal is to shut down the voices of their critics at a moment when they fear the loss of their fragile Senate majority. And to achieve it, they’re willing to devote roughly half of the remaining legislative days before November to this quixotic anti-speech gambit,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote in Politico opinion piece posted late Sunday.
His complaint is more than a complaint — he has assigned an extended period of time beyond the few hours of debate that would happen if his party simply voted “No” on Monday. So reading between the lines, McConnell may be hinting the GOP will allow debate to continue and, therefore, use procedure to lock Democrats into a prolonged debate.
The Kentucky Republican has long been among the loudest voices against restrictions on campaign spending, taking an expansive view of the First Amendment. But it’s telling that McConnell is indicating there could be a prolonged debate on the issue in the week ahead.
In a statement issued Sunday, Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats and backs the amendment, called the Monday vote ”a pivotal moment in American history.” Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia sent an email to his campaign list tied to the vote, asking supporters to sign the petition to “overturn” the Citizens United decision.
Given McConnell’s comments, the real test vote sounds like it will wait a few more days. Republicans could delay the matter enough that the next big vote probably wouldn’t happen until Thursday at the earliest.
“The major issue of our time is whether the United States of America retains its democratic foundation or whether we devolve into an oligarchic form of society where a handful of billionaires are able to control our political process by spending hundreds of millions of dollars to elect candidates who represent their interests,” Sanders said.
Democrats had discussed plans to hold a re-vote on a proposal from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., that would allow for existing student loans to be refinanced at lower interest rates, but a prolonged debate on the First Amendment and political spending limits could very well shift the schedule.
And McConnell alludes in the opinion piece to the student loan bill and the broader Senate Democratic leadership ”Fair Shot” agenda, which highlights campaign priorities of both current Senate Democrats and some of the challengers to Republican incumbents — perhaps most notably Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky’s secretary of state running against McConnell.
“Earlier this year, the Democratic leadership rolled out a partisan playbook drafted by campaign staffers that spelled out just how they planned to run the Senate in the run-up to November,” McConnell wrote. “It was filled with partisan proposals designed specifically to fail so Democrats could campaign on the failure of that legislation, blaming Republicans for what wasn’t done.”
Reid highlighted the “fair shot” agenda in a statement celebrating Labor Day, mentioning an assortment of stalled bread-and-butter issues including an extension of lapsed unemployment benefits and an increase in the federal minimum wage.
“When the Senate returns, Democrats will look again to help students and middle class families. I hope my Republican colleagues will join us in strengthening the economic security of middle class Americans as we continue to fight for a fair shot for all,” Reid said.
Oh Harry,Tea-Publicans only care about their über-rich corporate Plutocrat masters and imposing a feudal system of the Corporatocracy. It’s the end of our democracy.