Reid: Why didn't those obstructionist Republicans obstruct a vote to debate my anti-First Amendment bill?
Schadenfreude alert! Harry Reid is all bent out of shape because Senate Republicans unexpectedly supported a bill to bring to the floor for debate a constitutional amendment that would give Congress the power to regulate all campaign spending and speech.
The gambit was an election year sop to the Democratic base that wants to see the CItizens United case reversed. Reid and the Democrats had no intention of bringing to the floor such a draconian anti-free speech amendment. But the GOP decided to give Reid enough rope to hang himself by supporting the measure and the Senate majority leader is livid.
After all his complaints about Republican obstruction this year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid expressed frustration last night after Republicans helped guarantee a floor vote on a measure he supports.
The Nevada Democrat has accused Senate Republicans of chicanery for voting to advance to the Senate floor a Democratic constitutional amendment allowing Congress to regulate all campaign speech and spending.
After Monday's bipartisan 79-18 vote, Reid vented to reporters that Republicans were trying to "stall" the Senate, indicating that he never intended for the campaign finance amendment by Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., to go to a real floor debate.
Politico reporter Burgess Everett writes that many Republicans voted to advance the amendment Monday in order “to foul up Democrats’ pre-election messaging schedule, freezing precious Senate floor time for a measure that ultimately has no chance of securing the two-thirds support necessary in both the House and Senate to amend the Constitution.”
The move not only guarantees a lengthy debate over Democratic efforts to limit the First Amendment, but it also limits the amount of time left for debates over other doomed measures on gender pay equality and the minimum wage, which were intended to frame the coming elections for Democrats as they defend their Senate majority.
That may be the first smart thing Mitch McConnell has done this election season. I imagine Reid will be embarrassed further when several Democrats take to the floor to denounce the amendment. But the delicious irony of Reid getting caught in his own web of deception - and then complaining about Republicasn not obstructing what he wanted obstructed - is one of the more satisfying moments in recent congressional history.