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Democrats Grind Senate’s Work to a Halt Over Comey’s Firing

Democrats Grind Senate’s Work to a Halt Over Comey’s Firing

Demand a special prosecutor and threaten to “crank up the pressure” on Republicans

Democrats have gone from demanding former FBI Director James’ Comey’s resignation or dismissal to being puffed up with such outrage that the president has fired Comey they have decided to grind Senate work to a halt by cancelling or postponing meetings  . . . for a whole day.  This is their way of protesting the “lack of an independent investigation” into Russia’s alleged election meddling.

The Washington Post reports:

Democrats on Capitol Hill slowed committee business in the Senate to protest the lack of an independent investigation into Russia’s election meddling, and a growing number of Republicans questioned Trump’s decision.

Comey’s firing is expected to consume Capitol Hill’s attention until the weekend and potentially through Tuesday of next week, when the former FBI director has been invited to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The panel’s chairman, who met with Comey on Monday, said the director’s dismissal will frustrate bipartisan efforts to investigate Russian interference in the election and any possible ties between the Kremlin and associates of Trump.

For his part, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is dismissive of the hypocritical and abrupt about-face from Democrats on the subject of Comey and attempted to turn the Senate’s attention to the health care bill that just arrived in the Senate from the House.

The Washington Post continues:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), however, downplayed the firing and sought to bring the debate back to friendlier territory.

“Obamacare hasn’t lived up to its promises,” he said Wednesday morning on the Senate floor. “We’re working to keep our commitment to the American people to move beyond the failures of Obamacare.”

Briefly addressing Comey’s firing, McConnell accused Democrats of “complaining about the removal of an FBI director who they themselves repeatedly and sharply criticized.”

McConnell’s accusations of hypocrisy did little to subdue the controversy on Wednesday. Democrats responded by invoking an obscure rule that prevented committee hearings from continuing past midday — an effort to slow the Senate’s work to increase pressure on Republicans to support an independent investigation.

It is unclear if Democrats will continue this obstruction beyond one day.  Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) stated:  “I can’t say it’s an ongoing strategy.  It certainly is for the day.”

According to Talking Points Memo, the plan might be extended beyond one day if Republicans don’t agree immediately to their demands.

Senate Democrats have not yet revealed if they plan to continue their delay tactics in the days and weeks ahead, potentially holding up votes on dozens of bills and nominees for various agency positions.

“I can’t say it’s an ongoing strategy,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, told the Washington Post. “It certainly is for the day.”

Hirono was similarly coy about future tactics. “Let’s just take it one day at a time,” she told TPM.

But Merkley and other Democrats talked openly about the need to escalate going forward if Republicans refuse to collaborate.

“If we don’t have a briefing by early next week, if we don’t have an executive session, if we don’t reach an agreement on the vision for a special prosecutor, we’re going to have to crank up the pressure,” he said.

When pressed on how far she thinks the Senate should go in stopping all Senate business until they get their demands met, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) changed the subject.  Three times.


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Every GOP member of the Senate and House needs to resist this. Democrats would do it, if reversed.

I am looking at you McConnell and Ryan. Get your party in order and repel this nonsense from the Democrats.

Hmm, if the Rs are in the majority, don’t they determine when to call meetings? If I call a meeting and you don’t show, then isn’t that your problem. Mark them absent and don’t reschedule to their convenience.

Need to call my Senators tomorrow and comment on this absurdity.

    4th armored div in reply to Liz. | May 11, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    better still, choose what legislation you want to pass and vote on it, if the Donkey/Ass party don’t want to vote, so be it!

      Hey, Senator Fogbottom! Sorry we missed you at the committee meeting, but just wanted to tell you that things went on just fine without you. We got through about a month’s worth of backlogged, work, approved a few presidential appointees to the floor of the Senate, and sent up a dozen revisions to legislation. Are you going to be at the meeting next week?

Democrats invoked “an obscure rule that prevented committee hearings from continuing past midday”, hmmmmm. It must be a really obscure rule that the minority party could shut the Senate down. How about cancelling that rule tomorrow, Mitch? Aren’t you in charge?

    Liz in reply to Chicklet. | May 11, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    OK – now I see that sentence. Darn scrolling sometimes jumps past sections. But I agree that some of these obscure rules need to be changed. It was probably put in a long time ago so that they could get home.

    I wonder if Mitch could just call the entire senate into session and discuss the issue on the floor. Forget about the committee hearings.

      Paul in reply to Liz. | May 11, 2017 at 8:10 pm

      I think it was put in when Tipper O’Neil was around to make sure they didn’t miss the noon happy hour.

    Milhouse in reply to Chicklet. | May 11, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    The problem is that rule changes can be filibustered.

legalbeagle | May 11, 2017 at 7:04 pm

I want to thank the Democrats for their routine, reflexive, banal and Turrets Syndrome like calls for a Special Prosecutor.

I happen to agree in this case. A Special Prosecutor should be appointed to look into Ben Ghazi, Hillary’s Emails, the contempt citation of Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch’s Meeting with Bill Clinton, Huma Abadeen and Anthony Weiner, NSA spying and every Democrat Member of Congress.

Very good Legal lol

What’s to understand ?

They’re Democrats. They’re lazy.

American Human | May 12, 2017 at 6:35 am

Nothing can move any slower than the congress of the United States. Glaciers move quicker than these guys. A slow-down and a grind to a halt will never be noticed.

So meetings can’t go past noon? that means they can go home an hour early.

Was there ever, anywhere, a more self-absorbed, unctuous, and bloated body of nothing than the U.S. Congress?

    Milhouse in reply to American Human. | May 12, 2017 at 9:02 am

    It’s supposed to be slow. Its job is not to pass laws, but to stop bad laws from being passed. And no, there’s no rule on when the senate can meet; the rule is about committees. For that matter, committees routinely meet after noon; the rule doesn’t mean they can’t, it only means that they need unanimous consent to do so. That’s what you don’t seem to understand about senate rules: they’re not meant to be kept, they’re meant to be broken with unanimous consent. Their purpose is to give each senator the power to slow things down, so the senate can only proceed when they all agree to let it.

Bucky Barkingham | May 12, 2017 at 8:31 am

Another example of how when LibDems are in the minority they can still control the agenda. When the Roll-Over Party is in the minority they just sit and suck their thumbs.

    Milhouse in reply to Bucky Barkingham. | May 12, 2017 at 8:56 am

    That is the nature of the senate, and when the Rs were in the minority they took full advantage of it. The only reason we have 0bamacare in the first place is because the Ds had 60 senators; once they lost their 60th seat they were in the same position the Rs are now — they could only amend it in reconciliation, which meant they could only amend clauses that have a significant effect on the budget’s bottom line.