Today’s announcement from Senator McConnell should serve as the quintessential glimpse into his entire Senate career, particularly his acts of duplicity as party leader. Unlike House Majority Leader John Boehner, Mitch McConnell is unwilling to publicly state that he is out of touch with conservatives. He wants the capitulation to be processed, but without his support. He wants a ceremonial vote against the bad policy, but refuses to do what it takes to actually fight the policy.
After hiding in his cocoon for a few weeks, McConnell finally announced that he will vote for cloture on the bill that Harry Reid plans to use to fund Obamacare in the budget bill (CR):
“Sen. McConnell supports the House Republicans’ bill and will not vote to block it, since it defunds Obamacare and funds the government without increasing spending by a penny. He will also vote against any amendment that attempts to add Obamacare funding back into the House Republicans’ bill,” said Don Stewart, spokesman for McConnell, R-Ky. “If and when the Majority Leader goes down that path, Washington Democrats will have to decide — without hiding behind a procedural vote — whether or not to split with their leadership and join Republicans and their constituents in opposing the re-insertion of Obamacare funding into the House-passed bill.”
This is his attempt to pull a fast-one on the American public. The important vote is the cloture vote. Harry Reid needs at least six Republicans to help proceed with the bill, and avoid a chance by the Republican minority to stop it. This is exactly when a party leader should marshal support against any effort to use 51 votes to reinsert Obamacare. If the Republicans vote for cloture, as McConnell wants to do, the outcome is a forgone conclusion. Harry Reid will be able to strip out the defund Obamacare rider with a pure party-line vote, and pass the CR without it. McConnell knows that his ‘No’ vote on the amendment will be meaningless, but he will tout it to show how he is standing up to Obamacare.
Moreover, it is dishonest for him to suddenly suggest that he supports the House CR. Just last week, he was still peddling the discredited line that the defund rider would not effectively defund Obamacare.
This is vintage McConnell. Hope yes, vote no; capitulate when it counts; fight after the battle is already lost; join the fight after the fight is already won.
When it came time to fight the amnesty bill, McConnell joined the battle after we already lost. In the case of the gun control bill and the Syria resolution, he joined the fight after conservatives already won it from the outside. In the case of the debt ceiling in 2011, he wanted to allow Obama to unilaterally raise the debt limit as long as he retained the right for a non-binding vote against it. This is not leadership. This is cowardice. This is a politician more concerned with politics than people. Because of these political games, Reid will now gain leverage by passing a CR out of the Senate without funding for Obamacare. Senator McConnell is dishonestly focusing on a technicality – the fact that the Senate bill number is the same as the House bill – to explain his yes vote on cloture. This is a D.C. Shell game. We all know that Reid is going to strip out the defund rider with 51 votes after McConnell delivers the GOP votes on cloture.
Is McConnell willing to suggest that Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer are also voting to defund Obamacare by voting for cloture on the underlying bill?
Where is McConnell’s leadership demanding that Reid stop blocking all other amendments while passing only his Obamacare funding amendment on a party-line vote? The only way to leverage that is by opposing cloture until Reid stops shutting down the amendment process. But McConnell is willing to surrender without uttering one word of protest. In fact, according to Breitbart News, McConnell is whipping votes for the Democrats.
This is exactly why Mitch McConnell needs to be replaced. This is why it’s time for the movement to rally behind Matt Bevin.
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