From a Senate friend:
THE SENATE IS CLOSED UNTIL SENS. OBAMA AND CLINTON CAN GET BACK FOR A VOTE
Sen. Reid has adjourned the Senate until 5:00 Wednesday; Vote at 6:00 more convenient for Democrats on the campaign trail; Ironically, Reid decision stalls Veterans’ bill mere hours after Democrat leadership complains about ‘stalling’ tactics
In case you missed it, there was an interesting turn of events as the Senate closed this evening. By rule, on the day of the vote, cloture votes happen one hour after the Senate convenes—so the Ledbetter cloture vote was sked for one hour after the Senate convenes in the morning. But Sen. Reid made clear on the floor that it’s “certainly no secret” that he wants to delay the vote on the Ledbetter bill until six so that his members can return from the campaign trail for the vote.
So rather than vote on the Ledbetter cloture vote in the morning and work on the Veterans’ bill all day, Sen. Reid adjourned the Senate until 5:00 p.m. Wednesday so that the cloture vote happens at a time convenient for Sens. Obama and Clinton. The net effect is that the Senate will be closed until tomorrow night and no work will be done on the Veterans’ bill until AFTER the 6:00 cloture vote on the Ledbetter bill. And if cloture is invoked on the Ledbetter bill—get this—the Veterans’ bill would go back to the calendar. So a vote for cloture on Ledbetter is a vote to stall the Veterans’ bill until the Ledbetter bill is complete.
This decision stands in stark contrast to the Democrat leadership’s frequent comments all day Tuesday (three examples below) about how the Senate should proceed to the Veterans’ bill without delay.
SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): “I couldn’t imagine there would be any delay in wanting to bring critical help to our veterans.” (Sen. Durbin, Floor Remarks, 4/22/08)
SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): “This isn’t fair. It isn’t fair to the veterans who wait on important legislation like this.” (Sen. Durbin, Floor Remarks, 4/22/08)
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): “While our Republican friends are stalling for time, our veterans – men and women, young and old, who have served with distinction – continue to wait for the support, care and services they have earned.” (Sen. Harry Reid, Statement on the Senate Floor, 4/22/08)
NOTE: Wednesday, April 23, 2008
The Senate will convene at 5pm and proceed to debate on the motion to proceed to H.R. 2831, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007. At 6:00pm, the Senate will proceed to a vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to H.R. 2831.