Awkward: Reid Stalls a Vote on Obama's Jobs Bill

Erika Johnsen

10/6/2011 8:34:00 PM - Erika Johnsen

There's a lot of confusing Congressional minutiae here, but it pretty much boils down to this - President Obama: "Pass this jobs bill now!" Senator Reid: "Uhm, just give me a minute here." From The Examiner:

In a stunning turn of events this evening, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., used an arcane legislative maneuver to effectively rewrite Senate rules to make it harder for the minority party to force uncomfortable votes on the majority.

The buildup to this point started on Tuesday, when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., tried to force a vote on President Obama's jobs bill as well as other Republican priorities by offering them as amendments to the China currency bill. Reid blocked the move.

Tonight, McConnell made what's called a "motion to suspend the rules," to allow a vote on the amendments. Such motions are almost always defeated, because they require a two-thirds majority to pass. But they're another way for the minority party to force uncomfortable votes. ... In this case, for instance, if Democrats had voted down a motion for a vote on Obama's jobs bill, it would have put them in an awkward spot. ...

So, the end result is that by a simply majority vote, Reid was able to effectively rewrite Senate rules making it even harder than it already is for the minority party to force votes on any amendments. Should Republicans retake the Senate next year, it's something that could come back to haunt Democrats in a major way.